Arrival and Preparation for Climbing
Dec 10, 2008
Dec 20, 2008
After spending one night in Mexico City, my driver, Rogelio (who spoke not one lick of English), picked me up for the three hour ride to Tlachichuca, Mexico. Tlachichuca is a quaint little town in East Central Mexico and the base town for my first climb, Pico de Orizaba (18,490 feet). We arrived in Tlachichuca in late afternoon at the "soap factory" owned by Luis and Gerardo Reyes. The Reyes brothers' grandfather built and owned a soap factory in Tlachichuca throughout most of the 20th century. After the soap factory became obsolete, the Reyes family converted the factory into a climbing hostel. This place was amazing, and is without a doubt, the most fascinating and unique place that I have ever slept. The factory is two stories. Downstairs, there are couches, climbing storage, and a dining room, all surrounded by the old factory equipment, like pipes and giant ovens. Upstairs, there are about 15 bunk beds. See the pictures below. I was the only one staying at the soap factory the first night, and it was maybe one of the creepiest nights of my life. There were one of eighteen million Catholic celebrations taking place in the town (and the soap factory was smack dab in the middle of a town of about 2,000 people). Imaging waking up in the middle of the night to 2,000 singing Mexicans and a giant, obsolete, soap-making oven staring you in the face. Yep, it was like that.