Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sunshine on the Roof Terrace

RTW Day 26
Up early, and tried some pay for options rather than the basic free breakfast. Cappuccino was not of a standard to have Starbucks suits perspiring in their Seattle HQ, I have to say. And the omelette, whilst big enough, had so many vegetables in it, I actually couldn't finish it, a veritable meal by itself. Think I'll stick to bread rolls with butter and fresh OJ tomorrow.

The weather today is hot, sunny and breezy. Lovely trekking weather. Then again, this is exactly how it was yesterday, before mid-afternoon a storm blew in and we were whipped by torrential rain and gale-force winds. I would not in any circumstances have liked to be in a tent in those conditions, even down here, nevermind in the mountains.

The guys here have suggested I join a climbing party in a couple of days that are planning to ascent Pisco Mountain. If the weather is good, there should be spectacular views from the top, and it's relatively easy, with just a couple of crevices and a few small ice walls to climb. Height is 5752m, and it's not far from where I was camping before. I'm tempted, but the strange thing is, I think I probably won't do it, not because of the challenge, but I feel that this sort of experience should be shared, with someone special, or at least a good friend. Doing it with a group of Dutch and Canadians will not be the same.

Maybe I'm just being silly.

So my planning has taken the form of this: I still want to do Huayhuash, but I want options in case the weather is a total washout. So a plan A and B being formed, A being the original complete circuit, and B being a shortcut 5-7 days route. Plan C of course being to give up completely! I must admit, after that miserable first day on the Santa Cruz trek I very nearly did turn round and head back! Later, I'm going to check out a pizza joint in town. And buy provisions if I do decide to set off tomorrow (unlikely but possible). This is day 2 or doing nothing now, and I'm starting to get restless. I still do have a few aches though, and the blisters are still there, though subsiding. Medics? What is one supposed to do with blisters? Just leave them be?

Views over the Cordillera range are spectacular from the hotel today. I sunbathed up on the roof for a while, but have come down to my room to hide with lappie and sip Pilsen Callao :) Book, having set free the previous too via, is now A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. Next up is Terry Pratchett's Thud.

Question: Why don't Brits Travel?
As Boydie said, perhaps it's best for our reputation that most of don't. I ask the question since I have encountered hardly any Brits on my travels thus far. In Egypt, there were Aussies, and lots of Dutch and Spanish. In Mauritius, French (perhaps unsurprisingly given language considerations). In South America, it's all Dutch and Canadians. An Australian chap on our tour in Egypt remarked to me that he rarely encounters British people on his travels. I felt slightly embarrassed.

Is it that the majority of those at home consider travel to be a cheap package to Ibiza, Aya Napa or Costa del Somethingorother? One frequently sees reports in the newspaper regarding today's children not being able to identify fairly well-known destinations on an atlas. I remember Neil Jeffers at school being proud that he could identify every single capital city in the world - he was caught out in questioning by an obscure place which had recently shifted administrative hub, but still, I hoped I could do almost the same, and one of my desires in travelling now is to put pictures to that which in the past I have read about or imagined whilst spinning a globe or flicking through my battered school atlas (still at home in my bookshelf!).

Pizza Joint turned out to be nice, though I couldn't eat the whole of a "grande" pizza. They had a good selection of German lagers there too, even Weissbier! Brought leftovers back to hotel, which Juan Manuel gladly pinched off me!

Still haven't got rid of these blisters from last time. Any tips anyone? Time to turn to Brother Google..


Unknown said...

Why don't Brits Travel?

The answer is simple - they do; or did, rather. If you do London (you have done that, haven’t you?) then you will see a fair share of statues erected to British travellers who went to the corners of the globe to indulge in the traditional sport of ‘shoot the native’. Unfortunately, them not being that good at it, the natives fought back and won in most cases. Decline of the sport in recent years has resulted in fewer and fewer Brits roaming far from their castles.

Oh ... and on a more serious note - you know that you can cook inside your tent, don't you? If you find the prospect of a rain-roof particularly unappealing, start the stove outside. You can also cook right outside the door (watch the wind and a ground-mat helps with this one)depending on how hard it's raining. Just a thought - we don't want you to lose too much weight!

Sam Crawley said...

Cooking inside tent?! Very naughty, for carbon monoxide reasons. Particularly when if you're as unfit as me, you can't tell whether you're poisoned or just suffering the usual "lack of muscle" situation!

New tip though: Kitchen foil, folded back and forth to make a wind-shield for burner. This is what I was lacking, but some American chaps did benefit from this piece of genius, and I shall be equipped next time!