Well, another week has come and gone and it was filled with a few interesting things that you won’t be able to see for another few weeks. The first was a trip to a local town where we walked up a huge staircase that took you to the top of a contraption that you could see cities in every direction. This sounds boring? Well, wait until you see the contraption… It was made from trees that had been smoothed into logs and then bolted together to make long legs. This thing had to be over 100ft tall and even rocked a bit as you went higher and higher. Don’t think I”m knocking it though, I was absolutely amazed that someone came up with the design and that it’s been standing there for years.
The weekend however, brought the most interesting part of the trip so far. As you all know I’m a pretty competitive person and when I set my mind to doing something I usually accomplish it. My wife is pretty much the same. So between the two of us we can usually push each other to accomplish that goal, whatever it be. Well, almost… You see, my wife wanted to take me to a local volcano that has snow on the top of it year round. Now in my mind, something is wrong with this picture, but, well, lets just say it didn’t register immediately.
You seem, Colombia isn’t a cold place, it actually stays warm here year round for the most part, so something with snow on it at all down here should have made me question where exactly we were heading, but the fact that it is almost always covered with clouds should have been the second. Through in the old metric to english conversions and you’ve got a really confused Glenn. Oh, and one that can’t breath very well to boot.
It took us 5 hours of driving some of the worst roads I’ve ever seen. Roads that I’m sure Toyota would love to film some commercials on. We eventually make it to our destination through multiple stops and lots of Spanish explanations that I skip to go take pictures. One thing I did get however, was the fact that the volcano is the highest thing in Colombia and that it was over 5000 meters tall. Problem was, for some reason in my head, a meter was half of a mile, so my calculations put us around 13,000 feet and I’ve hiked that far up with no problems. So I wasn’t thinking it would be that big of a deal.
Once out of the truck and my feet hit that hill though, my brain started to question those figures. 10 steps up, 2 minute break, 10 steps up, 2 minute break, head swimming, those pesky specks of lights started floating by. Ah drink water, lots of water, keep pushing, my wife and friends can’t see me stopping… urggg… damn, what was my name again?
After 30 minutes I turn around to look down at the truck and what do I see? The truck, not very far down at all, damn have I moved? I turn back around barely able to hold my camera to my face to snap a few shots and I have to put it down. What the heck is going on here? I know I’m not in that bad of shape. I’ve been playing 2-3 hours of soccer every day since I arrived and had no real problems doing so… 13,000 feet… man, I’m confused.
After a couple hours we’ve made it up 3/4 of the mountain and getting close to the top, but I just can’t do it. My wife turns and tells me she thinks we should turn around and go back, now I’m really confused. She’s giving up too. Of course I put on the face that we can keep going to the top or that I’d wait and they could finish, all the while hoping that she wouldn’t cave in because going down had to be easier than going up. Finally we’re turned around and going back toward the truck without reaching our goal. The first time in my life that I didn’t actually finish the trip.
One thing that helped too was the fact that once we got to the snow line which wasn’t far ahead, you hit a cloud bank and really couldn’t see anything else. There wasn’t much sense in going much farther since my main goal was taking pictures and there’d be none of that. (There, I got that excuse in…
Going down hill wasn’t really a whole lot easier. We had to take multiple breaks going back down but eventually made it to the truck. The trip back home was terrible. I didn’t really feel all that great and my wife ended up getting sick.
Now for the really funny part. Once back home and a quick google of conversions I finally figured out that the volcano we were climbing was 18,700 feet tall and that us little people don’t breath so well up there no matter what your shape. So while I don’t feel any better about coming back, I do plan to go back and do it again with a little more preparation. So don’t laugh too hard, we will have pictures of the top of those clouds soon… or at least it feels better to say it…
I’ll have pictures up as soon as I get home, sorry for the mistake, but I know it won’t happen again.