Monday, May 02, 2011

Into the Caldera

No writing, but I did survive the Caldera trip.

It didn't help that it was raining when we set off on Saturday morning. We held a discussion in Los Llanos bus station, and decided to go anyway, even though obviously we wouldn't be stargazing or leaving via the river bed as planned.

The mini buses had no trouble driving over the ford, and dropping us off at Los Brecitos.

Then we had a 5.8 km walk in the rain, with overnight supplies weighing down our backpacks.
After the first half-hour or so, I found that my waterproof wasn't. So did several other people, and by the time we arrived at the hostel, many people were soaked to the skin. Luckily, the hostel has a fireplace. Unluckily, the wood was soaking wet. We could have kippered herrings in there, if we'd had herrings.

And then things got better. The fire got going, we changed into dry(ish) clothes. One of the guy who works in the Caldera gave us a couple of bottles of home-made wine, and someone else had bought a couple of bottles of shop wine, which cheered things up no end. We had a shared dinner (my coffee and walnut cake went down well) and several classes, and a pretty good night's sleep.

And in the morning we woke to that the rain had stopped, and there was snow on the peaks, all around the Caldera rim.

After a visit to a pre-hispanic rock carving, we set off back up the hill to Los Brecitos. I was glad that my back pack was lighter without the food, but it still felt like a long way.

My camera batteries died. Then my mobile batteries died, probably because I was taking lots of photos with it. And then my batteries died, and my ankle started swelling up, and I just had to stop. Someone kindly volunteered to take my backpack, and I staggered up to the Los Brecitos at least 20 minutes after everyone else, except the people who stayed back to keep me company.

And instead of being annoyed that I kept everyone waiting, they cheered. They were all really supportive, and seem keen for me to try the volcanoes walk in two weeks time.

Gee. I'm really not sure about that.

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