Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 16: Down the Mountain for Beer!!

Steep coming down...

Can you spot the Hikers coming down the "Gorilla head"?

Having absolutely no self respect left, I opt for the "butt slide" on the steeper parts coming off the mountain...better that than falling to my death...

He'll be coming down the mountain when he....

An exhausted expedition...

Across the River one more time...

Another view...

The hike is done. Time for a shower and some beer!

A toast with Eugenio, who safely guided this hike! He told me now that everyone is safely off the mountain, he can finally relax! Everyone lived!

The last day. We packed up camp and made the 5,000 foot descent off the mountain. I worried a bit about this because so many parts of the ascent meant using handholds to climb. That which requires handholds going up is even more precarious when coming down.

So I adopted my patented "butt slide" method for getting off the mountain. My legs were exhausted and I didn't trust them to hold me (and my backpack) on the steeper parts. The result? My new nylon pants were ripped to smithereens on my butt. I hiked along letting my Freak Flag Ripped Up Exposed Bottom Fly! Who cares. I lived.

It was hot coming down. I was the last one off the mountain. At one point, I just didn't think I could make it any further. My peers called to me--guiding me to the orange tree that gave us a last bit of energy at the bottom. Never has an orange tasted so good!

Over the last bridge, we stop at the "hot springs" at the bottom. The family that runs this place quickly serves me beer! And then a fine meal of battered Tilapia (that they raise themselves), beans, rice, squished batter friend plantains and salad. Beer and a meal for eight people for $63! You can stay at this Hot Springs resort, at the base of the mountain, have total access to the springs, lodging and three meals a day---all for $30 a day.

The hike was over. I showered. Ate. Drank three beers. And headed off to Buenes Aires to catch my bus to San Jose. Such an adventure!
This was an accomplishment for me. I had 44 days to get ready for this hike. As it turned out, this hike is so strenuous that you have to be in marathon ready condition to comfortably do it. I suffered greatly! And I loved every minute of it!

Thanks to Ian for the invite!


Ian Woofenden said...

Good to have you with us, Allan.

In the last 37 hours, I went from Durika to home via:
4WD Truck
Airport Train
Van Shuttle
Van Shuttle
Our van (sleeping six hours too) to do errands

The latter was picked up at the bike shop and then used to do:
4.44 miles
26:13 (still feeling the mountain legs)
10.18 mph average
28.79 max

Woodswalker said...

Congratulations, Allan! For all your suffering, you really accomplished something. And now you can recall it all with pleasure. Thanks for taking us along with you through all your great photos.

Allan Stellar said...

Thanks Woods! But I can't take credit for most of the photos. Ian took many of them (thanks Ian!). And Eugenio, our guide. I was too exhausted to dig my camera out of my muddy backpack.

Oh, and Ian. I'm glad you made it home safely. :)


Tim Koppenhaver said...

Thanks for sharing your adventure Alan. I enjoyed reading about the ups and downs very much. You probably never earned or enjoyed a beer as much as when you finished the climb.
Take care.

lph said...

Well done Allan!

A fantastic way to start the New Year!


Allan Stellar said...


I do believe that those beers were the best ever! Thanks...


Yup, a great start to a very active year...


Zeal said...

Congratulations on completing such an epic adventure! I look forward to seeing where the rest of the year will take you.