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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Making it to Dead Woman's Pass

PERU | Friday, 23 November 2007 | Views [2724]

Making it to Dead Woman's Pass Thankfully we awoke to Darrin feeling a little better. With hot mint tea delivered at 6:00 a.m. to the door of our tent, and a fresh batch of pancakes whipped up by our cook, along with the most amazing warm quinoa and banana porridge, we prepared ourselves for the most difficult part of the 4 day trek. We ascend today up 1200M to 4200M and cover a distance of 12K over seven hours. The ascent is tough, and several members of our group are suffering from symptoms of altitude sickness; a couple are vomiting on the trail, and others just feeling miserable. One thing about our group, everyone is so cool, and so concerned about each other, overly helpful. If one person falls sick, others are right there to offer support, carry another pack, and share pharmaceutical products which normally people wouldn't be so freely accepting of, but when you're out in the middle of the cold mountains and it's days hike away from any help, you'll take the pills to put you out of your misery. Our team, however, will do anything to help each other make the ascent. In fact, someone from one of the other groups from a different company had heard Darrin was ill, and stopped along the trail today to ask him if he wanted any antibiotics. Really kind. Another Scottish woman gave him several rehydration packets from her personal supply. Everyone is in good humor, despite feeling ill, encouraging each other to push forward. A bunch of Irish guys in our group keep us all entertained and laughing with their incredible sense of humor. We had a brief stop at the top of Dead Woman's pass, to try to absorb any available oxygen at 4200M. This pass is not called Dead Woman's pass because anyone in particular died here. Rather, our guide shared with us that the peak of the pass, from down below, resembles a female breast, and the woman is lying down, hence the pass looks like a dead woman lying there. Good imagination, combined with limited oxygen, and all of us can see the woman. The clouds are coming in thick, so we want to make the last two hours of steep downhill to our campsite Pacoymayo, before it starts dumping. No such luck for us, as we're getting pelted with hail which turns to rain 30 minutes later. Our not-so-cheap rain ponchos soak through, and water is now squishing between our toes; we're freezing cold. The Inca rock path is slick and we're concentrating hard not to slip and fall. We make it to our camp, and the rain finally subsides, as we strip off our wet socks, sneakers and outerwear and dive into our tent to put on our dry sleep-ware, hoping our soaked clothes will dry by morning. Our campsite is in the most beautiful setting, surrounded by steep, lush mountainsides and cascading waterfalls around us. Our cook has warm drinks and popcorn awaiting our arrival in the "mess tent" and we kick it there for an hour, attempting to warm up with coca tea. The outhouses are 1/4 mile away, across two streams covered by narrow rickety wooden bridges, so we're not going to drink much, hoping not to have to get up in the middle of the night. But after another fabulous meal, our guides break out a bottle of rum and tea micchu which is a hot, flavorful concoction of orange, pineapple and other fruits. Combined with the rum, we warm up instantly, and readied ourselves for another nights sleep in the tent. Thankfully tonight our elevation is below 4,000M and we hope to sleep like babies.

Tags: The Great Outdoors

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