Jane and Terry - Around the World 21st May '04 to 20th April '05 travel blog

Enjoying a few beers, watching the annual Fiesta

Plaza de Armas

Vicunas in front of ´El Misti´

Top of ´El Misti´ crater - absolutely knackered...

Top of El Misti - 5,825m (cf. Ben Nevis at c.1,350m). Highest...

Sunset from El Misti

Santa Catalina where the Nuns live!

Arrived 5:30am - bus 2 and a half hours early, do not think you would get that in England...

Found nice hostal - Hostal Mercedes. Arrived on the anniversary of the city, so huge party. We sat on a balcony eating and drinking all day watching the parade go by. Went from 2pm til after 10pm. Really good.

Next day wandered around, tour of Santa Catalina monastery which was very impressive. Found a cool bar in the night - Deja Vu.

Day 3 in Arequipa - TS trekked up ´El Misti´, an active volcano 5,825m (around 19,000ft, vs. Ben Nevis at c.1,300m and Scafell at 997m!) high. Over 2 days. Day 1 was 5.5hrs walking uphill from 3,300m to 4,500m, carrying a tent, mattress, sleeping bag, and my own day pack! Killer. Wake up call 2am to climb from 4,500m to 5,825m. First few hours climbing in pitch black with a torch (left tent etc at the site thank god). REALLY REALLY difficult. Eventually staggered to the top in 5.5hrs, and I had no energy left at all. Good view of the volcanic crater with smoke etc and the horrible sulphur smell. Final climb was from the crater was to the highest point on the mountain which somehow I managed to do in another 40mins. Cloudy and v.cold. Down was skating down volcanic ash - done in 4hrs. This was the physically the most difficult thing I have ever done, and I am never going to repeat it. No more dreams of Everest or K2 or Kilimanjaro...well maybe the last one might be OK one day. RUSHY - make sure you ´tell Jase of my preseason training at altitude. There´s a couple of seasons left in me yet. Back to Arequipa around 3pm, and just slept (and had a pizza delivery).

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