Camello & The Climb

Trip Start Jul 19, 2010
1
9
26
Trip End Aug 13, 2010


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Monday, July 26, 2010

Woke up at about 8 to have some breakfast, excited and ready to leave at 9 with Barney to go rockclimbing! I absolutely loved rock-climbing and climbing anything, whether it was climbing frames or tress as a child and so I was so ready for this rock-climbing adventure in Sucre! A taxi took us to our destination with a Bolivian tour guide, who could not speak any English, only spoke Spanish- Perfect! 

We were dumped off at the side of a winding road; our destination was literally just a massive cliff in which we had to hike up in order to get to the rock-climbing wall. This was the most challenging bit, because we were following Camello our guide, and he was walking so quickly that Barney and I were continuously out of breath! Camello is his nickname, which translates to Camel in English, this is what his friends and family call him due to the fact that he never drinks water. Ah, this makes sense, as he never knew when to stop for us to have a drinks break on our trek up the mountain. The start of the trek was really steep and we had to literally hold on for dear life as we used our bicep muscles and quick feet to pull us up this side of the cliff to start our hike. It was pretty tough because we had to hike over loads of large rocks as we climbed higher and higher into the mountain. As we looked over our shoulders we could see the town of Sucre, and it was such a beautiful sight, one in which we could fully appreciate on the hike back down. 

We reached our rockclimbing wall, and it was just that, a wall. Probably the flatest faced cliff I had ever seen, after stretching my neck as a gazed up at it, I suddenly realised that there was no climbing equipment there whatsoever! Just us 3 and a cliff. UNREAL. Adrenaline was pumping and took over, although I should have probably been a little more nervous at the fact that it was just a cliff. So excited! We got kitted out in our helmets and harnesses, whilst our guide climbed around the wall, I say climbed, he practically ran up and around it, to set up the anchor (I'm not sure what the technical word for this is, but its basically the thing that attaches the rope in which we are secured by, to the wall- literally, he just banged it in there haha, but he absailed down it... so it must be safe... right!?)

I was so excited, so I went first, looking all pro with the chalk bag hanging at my side, and I started the first of our 5 climbs. It was so challenging, unlike anything I've done before in terms of climbing- you had to search for ages for some sort of ridge of a crack to place your foot/hand to give you some leverage- majority of the time there wasn't any, so you just had to scatter up there like spiderman- I loved it! One of the best things I've done, it was so much fun! It was really quite tough though, as soon as there was a big enough ridge to place a foot, we had to take a little breather and access the best possible route to take next. Our guide was really nice and bought as a chocolate bar, fruit, sandwhich and yogurt to keep us going! He said that compared to the others he has had we were astoundingly quick :) On one route he told us to only put our hands in this thin groove in the wall which was tiny, about the width of one of my fingers, and so hard! Relished the challenge though and it was so much fun. 

Once we reached the top of all of our climbs we were able to abseil down the cliff which was just as much fun as our climb to the top! He encouraged us to push off hard from the wall to get the best experience out of it, it felt like we were completely free and flying! At one point he really wasn't ready, or did not expect me to be so heavy, as I put all my effort and weight into my massive push off from the wall, and he was at the bottom supporting my rope and he just smashed straight into the cliff as he lost his footing!! Ahahaha it was so funny, I felt so bad but he assured me that he was okay! He then found a small rock to place his foot on to balance his weight to stabilise him! So much fun! 

Our next challenge was to take certain routes, and start from certain places and use only our fists to pull ourselves up. Incredible. This involved making our hands into a fist, and then firmly shoving it into a hole or gap or a groove, and pulling ourselves up, it was so difficult, but again, truly amazing. After 5 climbs we were well and truly exhausted and we made our descent down the hill, where we took in the amazing scenery of Sucre. Sucre was one of the most well off places in Bolivia I visited and it almost, almost, looked like a European town with the terracotta rooftops and white buildings, it was an amazing view!

We arrived back in the main square and went on a little city tour with the majority of the group I've been with this entire time. We ate really nice ice cream, visited the market, where all the girls went crazy and bought loads of silver jewellery as presents. We then went to this park which resembled Paris, even with a model of the Eiffel Tower (a Bolivian man created this park for his wife.) A few of us hunted for the levi's shop which turned out to be just as expensive, which was a let down and then we went for dinner, I ordered fajitas and extra chips which I was challenged to finish- and I did. Woo Yeah.
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