Welcome to the Quest Overseas Ambue Ari 2010 blog, if you´re a first time reader, you´re in for a treat, because I happen to be a second time writer. If on the other hand you are a devoted follower then allow me to apologize for the previous blog.
We begin this next chapter in our story in preparation for our second trek. Contrary to what was written, the previous trek was not as bad as you think walking wise, we were just rained on in freezing conditions which is fun. This next trek was to be a daunting undertaking. Let me preface my descriptions of our journey with a brief account of our guide for this trek, Edison. Edison seemed to be living in a world that we might refer to as Bolivia time. When he would deliver an estimate for time till destination, we found ourselves walking sometimes three times said amount. So what was meant to be a brief one to two hour walk after our ten hour bus ride to the Colca Canyon turned out to be about four hours, and we were racing daylight.
All afternoon walks aside, the next day was serious; we began our descent into the Canyon, which seemed like a very repetitive walk around one ridge to another, hoping that the next would reveal vegetation or water. The view was spectacular and we were truly ants in the canyon. Upon our arrival to the base, we were presented with a wide river to swim in and a classic farm football pitch, all next to a picturesque babbling brook. Now as some of you may be aware, we have a couple team members who seem unnaturally keen on their food options, among other things. Self proclaimed connoisseur of food Niko showed interest in purchasing a lamb to slaughter and eat that night. We were all a little surprised when we found out we were able to do it, and some of the guys were even more surprised as we watched Niko cut this animal´s throat with a little assistance from the local farmers. Despite how wildly gruesome the kill was, the meat was superb. Ok, so I know you´re asking “wait Tyler (that´s if you already deduced it was me) I thought you said something really tough was coming in this trek, what’s going on?” Well hold your horses! I´m getting there…
We took an early bed time so we could be ready for our 2:30 wake up. We then ventured out of the canyon uphill for about eight hours, driven only by the dream of our mules that we were promised for the second half of the day. As Matt and Sarah would say, the hilariously clever leaders they are, it was ¨character building¨. When we reached the spot where the mules were, we saw that there were a few horses among the herd, and nothing against mules, but when there are horses around… So we lined up in height weight order, and those of us at the front saw that only one horse was available for riding, seeing as the others had our luggage. This horse was like every movie cliché horse you´ve ever had daydreams about. Its long misty mane swooped over its huge muscley neck, and it stood a foot and a half taller than the mules. It was a beautiful white stallion adorned with the shiniest of horse riding paraphernalia. Myself, Ross, and the ever honourable Rory Fairfax seemed to be the most likely candidates, but Rory began to burst into tears at the sight of the horse that he deemed must be named Shadowfax. As Rory quietly wept in the dirt, Ross and Myself mustered the compassion to let Rory indulge in the bestiality-esque relationship he cried for.
Regardless of being short strawed, we all had a lot of fun for the first day, but there was a little bit of disappointment in the fact that the riding was a relaxing relief from the walking we had done. The next day we had a late start, and we slowly made our way out for the last day all on the mules. We had the frequent chance to break into a casual trot, and I even taught Bash how to Canter just like his hero, me. Unfortunately I may have influenced a too successful following in my manic adventurism, because soon we had Amy and Ross take tumbles off of each´s respective mule. Fortunately Amy was tough and Ross had the smallest mule in the world which was extremely funny considering he is the tallest in our group. Unfortunately in a deathly race between the group Lisbeth and Mette, the Danish feud caused Mette to knock her once closest friend off her mule onto the ground. Needless to say it set Lisbeth off mules forever.
We arrived in a nice little town, and had some well earned R&R. Later we ventured to the Desert to do the anticipated dune buggying and sand boarding in Huacachina. No injuries on this event, just a plethora of fun, and Femke took a dramatic tumble on the last hill, which had me biting my nails, but all was well. Prior we also had a rendezvous night with the Villa Maria group, which was just a night of pure chaos. We are currently preparing for our next trek, and last night we celebrated Bash´s birthday. My gift to Bash this morning was that he was able to step in my puke barefoot, just as he awoke. I hope you enjoyed reading my entry and I also hope that it turned you back onto reading the Ambue Ari blog at all.