Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bolivia in 2 days

On Saturday we are flying to La Paz. We were thrilled to find a flight on points. Turns out there's no fuel surcharge going to Bolivia, so we just paid the taxes - an awesome deal.The routing is a bit longer than it absolutely has to be: we're going from Ottawa-Toronto-Panama City-Bogota-La Paz then on to Sucre on a local carrier.

Our house sitters are all set up, so we know all will be well at home while we embark on this 5 week mountaineering expedition. Lots of anticipation, wondering whether we are ready. I inadvertently hurt my foot in May in the Adirondacks, basically pretty painful tendinitis in my foot. With lots of physio and stretching, and hot yoga, it has improved tremendously. All that to say, we couldn't follow our plans for backcountry hiking. However, I started joining Jan at  hot yoga and since early June I have logged 52 classes :) That has got to help, right!?

We will post updates and photos here as we go and when we have internet access. The basic itinerary is
week 1 - Sucre and area - with a 3 day, 2 night hike up to 3,800 m
week 2 - La Paz and day trips to the Altiplano and Cordillera Real
week 3 - Mountaineering with Bolivian Mountain Guides in Cordillera Real - training week
week 4 - Mountaineering with Bolivian Mountain Guides in Cordillera Real (Chearoco, Chachacomani, Illimani) - summit week
week 5 - Madidi National Park (the jungle)

The itinerary is designed for acclimatization. We will gradually sleep higher and higher as we progress through the first 3 weeks. At the same time we will be active hiking and trekking or day tripping much higher still. In fact, in week 2 we hope to spend a day trip driving all the way  to 5,400 metres, just to help the body get used to the lower air pressure and stimulate adaptation to the altitude over time.

We'll see how the mountaineering works out. We have our sights on a couple of 5,000+m peaks and several over 6,000 m. Summits are never a given and we have a lot of respect for the mountains. We are both eager to be in these mountains again and gain all manner of new experiences and deepen our skills along the way, too.

This is the highest spot we've ever walked to:
Huayna Potosi, 6,088m (19,975 feet)
November 19, 2010

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