Colourful mountain whipped my a**e

Published: May 20th 2010
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Another sleepless night, I am tired and irritable, Breakfast, then I inspected my feet from Sunday when they blistered badly, still a little raw so I cleaned them put Sangre de Drago on the wounds and covered them with second skin and tape, boots on and off we went.

We started at the hot springs with the intention of climbing colorful mountain about a 6-8 hour climb.
It was arduous from the beginning and I was feeling the altitude immediately, when we reached the top of the first mount the views were gorgeous, We climbed across the range which was difficult and put a lot of pressure on the knees, I was breathing hard, John was ascending like a mountain goat, I on the other hand resembled a lame baby elephant. We had been on the go for about 5 hours when we sat down to have lunch, we were at 4800 metres and it was cold. I removed a boot, bad move my ankles were torn to shreds, we needed to go down, Just summited the next peak while I rested, we hadn't made it but I was happy with what I achieved.
The climb down was painful and I was happy to reach the bottom, Guanacos (another wee wild deer/llama/camel type animal) were everywhere and always spotted us first, one would keep an eye on us as the rest grazed.

Franklin was waiting at the bottom and I had to steep my feet in hot water with my socks on to remove them from the blisters, No boots for me for a few days.

We met a couple traveling Chile and Boliva, Jason an American who has a hostel near Lima and his friend Yasmin a Maltese lass, They were great fun and we had a couple of happy nights eating and comparing stories, for sure we will go visit them in the near future.

We watched a sunset at the hostel, the clouds had a vertical stripe of light cutting through them, John called it a sun dog or a sprite, really quite beautiful and somewhat unusual, It snowed that night, we are heading back to Arica to get some things done then back to the mountains for a longer stretch.

Back in Arica, it is lovely to feel the heat again although its windy, I am sleeping like babe in arms, just catching up on laundry and getting our bearings before the next move.

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