9months4continents2012with Di travel blog





























































Up at 5.15 for a 6am start and truck breakfast - these are the mornings when I wonder what the hell I'm doing! Start temp around 15 and decreasing as we went up but the grey morning turned into a bright blue day. Had a lecture on altitude sickness and a demo of the oxygen. Stopped at a salt lake and took lots of pictures. Got to 4170m and thought we'd topped but kept climbing. Inside Yana was quite cosy unless someone opened a window then it was icy and out side the wind was biting. Was playing cards and trying to drink as much water as possible so decided to swap to a drinking game very funny was really pleased when I got a pee stop card! Head started to ache a little but bearable should have taken it as a warning sign and had oxygen and panadol. Topped out at about 4500_4700m. Our big Mt Kosciusko is just 2228m. Di G wasn't feeling too good so she got oxygen and later when most of us were off on a pee stop Canning noticed she wasn't looking too good again, she passed out and said later how scared she'd felt when she couldn't breath. Arrived San Pedro sometime no idea when and when I walked into our shared hostel room completely broke down and spent the next hour sobbing for no particular reason. A couple of pain killers and a sleep and all was good again. San Pedro is a little place that looks like something out of the wild west, brown adobe houses nothing over single story it's right on the border of Chile and Argentina and Bolivia. The no-mans land we passed through was dry and brown and no wonder neither country wants it. Weather here dry but also had a day of wind and dust actually looks like it would be like that all the time. We are staying at 2400m so although breathing is OK running is noticeably more difficult than at sea level. When we leave here we go over 5000m Spent the afternoon at a place called Valley del la Luna - valley of the moon.It would have been spectacular if the wind had died down as it was, walking to the top of a sand-hill, a very big one was a real effort with mouth and eyes covered as much as possible to stop the sand getting in and at times struggling to stay upright. Some of our group have gone back for a second visit but I saw quite enough. Then last night at 11.30 we were picked up to go star gazing. There is a French man near here with 9 large telescopes - he gave us a very funny lecture - standing outside in the freezing cold. His partner brought blankets for us to wrap around to keep out some of the cold. He used a pointer and showed us many of the constellations and lots of different stars before letting us look through the telescopes already set to particular visions. First was Mars followed by Saturn - still not sure if it was real as it was a perfect view of how we all imagine it to look with the rings ...he was a good speaker although I have no idea what he looked like. His home fairly ordinary from the outside I think but inside natural walls with interesting tree like pillars and a huge bathroom which smelled amazing. His partner brought us all hot drinks to warm us up - hot chocolate. Didn't get back till about 2am. Up to get breakfast and find out what we would be doing for the day - the border crossing we were supposed to use to get to Bolivia was closed due to snow ice and accidents - waited till 9 and still not open we think it is open now but couldn't leave after 12 as the drive would have taken us to late into the night so here I am catching up on my writing now for another walk into town - 5 minutes to get there 20 minutes to walk around the whole town - and of course we spent all our Chilean pesos yesterday so no shopping.

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |