Sunday, July 12, 2009
after a few days in huaraz, getting used to the thinner air it was time to go higher. we set of for a day walk up to laguna churup, a beautiful lake at 4450m. this would be a good chance to let our bodies acclimatise. we caught the taxi up and were soon walking. taking it nice and slow, it was still an effort not to lose my breath! an hour and a hlaf later we we casually munching on some food by the lake. i felt pretty good. we had enought time to stay up there for a few hours before making our way back down to the taxi.
once back in huaraz i started feeling a little seedy, but thought it would just pass. we went to the famous cafe andino for some food and tea before making our way to the markets. by now i was feeling much worse, with nausea and headaches. we picked an entrance to the markets and went in. we had gone into the meat section. with dead chickens and ox tongues inches from my face i had to get out of here. i found a fast way out and struggled to catch my breath. fighting a wave of nausea i thought i was winning the fight. until the enemy sent another wave that saw me heaving up the tasty sandwich from cafe andinos into a nearby drain. feeling better for the release i made my way home to the hostel where i lay down and tried to rest. i drugged myself up and started feeling sorry for myself. soon i was leaking out both end in an effort to empty my bowels completely. i think the altitude, combined with an upset tummy led to these miserable 24 hours.
after a sleepless night i was feeling slightly better in the morning. we had originally planned to head up the jacca valley to climb vallunaraju, an easy peak with a summit height of 5680. i felt well enough to come up to the refugio, and would see how i felt from there. we had recently met an american called jono, who had decided to come with us. so we piled into a taxi which proceded to drive to the doorstep of basecamp. they really know how to do it in peru! after a diaster with the pasta we were soon settling into bed. i wasnt feeling particularly good so i popped some pills and tried to get some sleep. during the night i felt awful. i was struggling for breath, feeling like someone was sitting on my chest. my head pounded and my heart raced. we had set the alarm for 3am, and when that went off i checked my pulse. it was 120bpm. with such a sore head and a high pulse i decied i just needed another day to rest. the others set off and i was sorely disappointed to no be going with them.
going back to bed i slept for quite some time. after some time i started feeling better, helped along by some altitude drugs. at around midday i went for a walk up to glacial lake above the hut, it was quite spectacular! after milling around for a while, and throwing some stones i made my way back down for some tea. after a litre of cocoa leaf tea i was feeling much better. i had made the right decision to hang back for the day. Rob and Jono came back just after 1pm, they had made good time to the summit and back. a couple from moab had sandbagged us into thinking the route would talk heaps longer, so the taxi wouldn´t show up until 4! as far as places to lounge around go, we weren´t doing too badly! the taxi showed up a touch early and we piled in and made our way back down to the hostel. soon we´re going to be heading out to grab some big burritos before having a pleasant rest day tommorow.
then hopefully we ´ll be heading up the santa cruz valley to try and have a shot at climbing the famous alpamayo! see how we go!!