So after 8 months in Chile I finally found someone who shares my love of the outdoors and who invites me to join him on a trek in the Andes. Woohoo I say! But truthfully I had no idea what I was getting into. I only have just taken up backpaking/hiking these past few years but I thought rather nonchalantly “Wouldn’t it be cool to get to the top of a mountain?!!” I mean most of us agree that it would but clearly I had no regard for how difficult it might be to get there. Well, I’ve backpacked about 14 miles in a weekend once, how bad could this 1.5 day trip REALLY be? HA HA HA the mountain laughs at me!
The trip we embarked on was to a summit in the Andes called Punta de Damas. At 3149m, it’s certainly no cake walk to reach (at least that’s what I hear). I only made it about 1000m – or so I’m told. You can imagine how disappointed I was to hear that after I had already been hiking, what felt like straight up, for the better part of 8 hours. The reason I didn’t make it is not that exciting (hence why i’ve thus far left it out). But let the record state that my tendonitus in the inner part of my left ankle started acting up until I couldn’t seem to go more than 4 or 5 steps without feeling a shooting pain.
Oh well I say. Dago, the one that had invited me, so generously offered to head back to where we had eaten lunch and camp with me there. We met up with the other 4 guys on their way down the following day. Needless to say the way back down was much easier than it was going up, although my knees probably wouldn’t agree with that statement. They have already told me many times during snowboarding sessions that they don’t appreciate being used as brakes. Too bad for them – I never listen!
I suppose I shouldn’t be too disappointed with my “performance.” As i’ve done next to nothing physical in several, I reapeat SEVERAL months. The most amazing part though is that I don’t have a single blister to speak of. I would therefore like to take this time to acknowledge the wonderful hiking boots I recently purchased – they are a pair of Mammuts (Gore-Tex). I wore one pair of hiking socks with a liner (thanks Jillian!)
The night camping was soooooooo relaxing. Dago and I camped near a stream, made a little fire, cooked food and tea, enjoyed the view, took pictures, discussed life, relationships and our love of nature. All in all I had a great time despite my temporary injury. Don’t get me wrong – there were certainly those moments when I asked myself “What the hell am I doing??!” but then there were the others – the ones that brought a smile to my face without a single thought. The mountains and their grandeur…I may never know why something that makes me feel so small and insignificant, also brings me so much joy and relaxation. They just do..they are my “happy place” Nothing better…nothin.