Today's the big day. If everything went according to plan, we would meet Victor at the hostel at noon, he would bring a horse to carry our stuff, we would buy some food to help his family with dinner, and together we would hike up to his house. But when do things ever go as planned?
Victor arrived at Hostel Tinki at 7:30 that morning. After introductions, we began to talk about how the day was going to go, and we had one of those moments while listening to Victor where we realized our Spanish sucked. Even Victor himself said he thought our Spanish was going to be better...Fail. But it all worked out eventually. A little misunderstanding here and there, some frustration for both parties, and embarrassing for us, but everything fell into place in the end. Up to 13,000+ feet we go!
You could see Asangate from our hostel window.
Victor tightens the ropes that secured our bags and other supplies to the horse.
Andes. Alpaca. Those clouds. "Where the hell am I?"
My friend Sang who went on this hike last year printed out pictures for me to give to Victor's family. He made prints that fit neatly into one of the books that I brought along in my backpack. It seemed like an easy enough task, and since I have proof that the photos made it to their final destination, it's okay that I tell this story: On one of the first days of traveling I was smart enough to not fully tighten my water bottle and everything on the bottom of my backback got soaked... but not the photos because they were safely tucked in my book!! Phew. Mission accomplished.
And they loved those photos.
Dinner by candlelight. Rice with fried potatoes, carrots. and cauliflower.
One of the best meals on the trip. Possibly one of the best meals of my life.
We ended up not having to camp because their house had a storage room that was big enough for the three of us. Within an hour, there were two beds that were set up for us with a mattress and everything! I can't imagine how cold it might have been if we had to camp outside, because that night, along with two thick blankets and my sleeping bag, I was wearing two pairs of pants, 4 layers of shirts, two hats, a scarf, and gloves. Tomorrow, we hike to Victor's alpaca farm.