Ojos del Salado and… HOME!

I’m coming home on Tuesday, 22nd of February 2011, at 5 p.m. I’ll be on Tarom RO 0362 Amsterdam – Bucharest flight which lands on Otopeni airport.

But, before we see each other at the airport (I’ll be very glad if you’ll be there!), let me tell you a bit about my experience in Ojos del Salado.

At 4 o’clock we took the bus from Santiago to Copiapo, from where we bought food for the mountain and an entrance ticket for Adventurismo’s national park. It was warm and I was wearing a t-shirt and short pants, but I was thinking about the cold that will probably be on the mountain. I was missing the Atacama desert, the area where we had been two years ago and the Ojos del Salado peak. We were close to Santa Rosa lagoon, the first refuge where we were suppost to stay three days in order to start properly our acclimatization.

Everything was exactly as I remembered: the lagoon was still huge and had lots of flamingos that were eating all that grows in the lagoon and near it. Behind the refuge, there were mountains that seem to be extremely close, but when trying to get to their basis, you could realize that it would be a 5-6 hours route. But we knew all these stuff from our previous trip, so we drive back several kilometers to a gorge on over 4000 meters and we went up another 600 kilometers to a peak. This helped us with our acclimatization and after we came back to the refuge we could wash ourselves with fresh water from the fountains near the lagoon, getting off all the dirt and dust from our clothes.

The Claudio Lucero refuge was our next stop at over 100 kilometers near the mountain. We stayed there three days, but we also went in the Green Lagoon – a place about I had heard many things before, but didn’t manage to visit the previous time. When we got there, I realized that I was having a different impression about it. It was bigger and the water was much clear and beatiful than I previously imagined it.

After a week from the departure from Capiapo, we arrived at Atacama base camp. This time we knew exactly what was waiting for us to Tejos Refuge and even up, on the top. On our first day we were all feeling good, very good I might say, therefore I decided for our second day to climb up to Tejos Refuge along to Sabine, a friend of mine from Germany that I met in the base camp. And so we did!

We were planning to climb to the top in the same night, but the weather was very bad: it was snowing and foggy and the wind was blowing. Therefore, the following day we climb down to the Atacama base camp. On our way to the camp, we walked under the clouds and we saw something amazing, something that I didn’t think I’ll ever see: all the desert that was normally golden (the colour of sand), was now covered in snow till the horizon.

When we arrived in the base camp, we decided to stay in it, for acclimatization and until the weather would become better. It was a bit strange, because all the people were leaving due to the bad weather and the unfavorable weather forecast. We waited four days, during which time we climb to Tehos, where we also stayed three days. The weather was still unfavorable for climbing on the top, but it was good for the altitude training.

In the end, all was excellent: we climb down in Capiapo, then in Santiago, where we stayed two nights. Now I have only five hours till the flight and then… I’LL BE HOME!

The entire experience was fantastic, but for the moment I’ve had enough . I’m coming back to Romania, I’m coming back to you!

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