Day 4: Moir Hut to Barranco Camp
Trip Start Jul 17, 2010
73Trip End Sep 19, 2010
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Had no trouble getting up this morning after a good night’s sleep, so I was packed before tea arrived. Felt sorry for the toilet guy after the dump I took in there. We have been told to eat as much as possible at every meal so I had been going nuts, while some others were having trouble. Scott and Gary had been eating very little to the point where Scott was only able to keep down the shake things they had. So all the food I ate had to go somewhere lol. I was also getting a bit of the Cadbury squirts too. As I had been in trouble 3 times yesterday for now wearing a hat (and not having one with me to wear) I improvised with a shirt over the head held in place by a shoelace, Bedouin-style, covering my ears, neck and part of most of my face. Just had to keep lathering up with sunscreen as well – I didn’t want to end up like the guys from Melbourne, who had now christened “The Ginger Kids” as they had been sunburnt like rangas get sunburnt. Theo approved of my new hat lol.
From Moir it was pretty much straight up the side of the valley and the pace was pretty tough, didn’t take too long before I was struggling but really trying to keep going. And of course when it doesn’t make up feel too proud when the porters come blasting past you carrying everything and tell you “pole, pole”. Eva was struggling too and the assistant guide put her at the front so that we couldn't go at a pace that was too much for her, which I was happy about as it was about the right pace for how I was feeling. Apparently Theo gave the assistant guide a bit of revving when he caught up to us for going too fast. Lunch was the best meal so far – chicken and potato stew, how these guys manage to cook this up on the side of the mountain I don’t know but its very much appreciated. And the great attitude of the crew is something else to see as well – they may have just packed up the tents, carried them uphill, unpacked the tent and cooked food, then be packing them up again but they were singing and having a good laugh and mucking around. It was great to see, helped lift our spirits a lot. From here we continued uphill to the highest point for the day – Lava Tower.
It really became a struggle for me, the further we went the more trouble I was having talking to everyone else. That was one thing I enjoyed about the group – as we went along Mike and Travis would throw out questions that mostly those guys answered but it helped to pass the time thinking about… things like “hottest female drummer from a goth band?”, or “top ten still-alive guitarists?”… we would also throw out quotes from movies about different things and see how long it took other people to come up with the title of the movie it was from. And I think the crew liked how we all got along together as well, on multiple occasions Theo said our team work was really good and if we kept supporting each other like we were then there was no problem with us all making it to the top. By the time we got to Lava Tower I was fairly rooted. We got to the base of it and Theo said we are stopping for a break and some photos and I just dropped my daypack and walking sticks and pretty much fell over. I was shattered. After a few mins rest and some water to drink I managed to make it around the corner to the toilet but then had to hold onto the wall to stop from falling over.
Everyone took a few photos then we (thankfully) headed down from there towards Barranco Camp. The landscape was very rocky without any vegetation, could’ve been Mars (except it was black not red lol). The further we went down into the valley the better I was feeling which I was very happy about. A few creeks converged into the valley, as did another trail bringing the people that were coming from one of the 6 day trails, which meant there would be a lot of people in camp that night. The creeks in the valley meant there was actually some vegetation here, like a weird garden with tall plants that don’t shed their leaves when they die, instead they stay as insulation of the “trunk”. Apparently they are hundreds of years old to get this high. It was more like something from a movie.
Camp was pretty full by the time we got there and there was still more people arriving. It was on a decent slope at the end of the higher section of the valley floor, which then dropped down a cliff to a lower section further down the valley, up which some clouds would drift up, making for a pretty nice view. We wandered around the point, which we nicknamed “Poo Point” due to all the toilet paper around from people without toilet tents going to the toilet there lol. There were a few small animals around that we spent some time trying to take pics of before the sun started going down and it was time for dinner.
A few games of UNO were played after dinner with Eva winning too many games, then it was time for a cold night in the tent with not much sleep after midnight because it was so cold. I have now taken to putting all my rechargeable batteries in the sleeping bag with me where it is warmer so they don’t loose charge from being out in the cold all night. A hot water bottle would be good too because with long pants, 2 tshirts, 2 pair thick socks, sleeping bag liner, booster bag, sleeping bag and trying to do something with my snow jacket I’m still freezing.