We’re off to the Andes!
I was sick with flu-like symptoms for a week after paying $200 for a yellow fever shot. Other team members just had vivid dreams for a month. But that was not my biggest worry as we crossed the 24 hour threshold before entering the Andes again. Bolivia wants two months of bank statements and $160. I’m starting to figure out why no one I know has ever been there.
Before stepping right off the plane into the world’s highest capital at 11,800 feet in La Paz, we decided to first spend a few days in Bogota at only 8500 feet. No visa or vaccines needed there. Last minute chores include shutting down my office, arranging for a house sitter (thanks David and Angela) and checking out everyone’s gear. Attrition has whittled our team considerably with fears of kidnapping and beautiful Colombian temptresses. (I am only concerned with the former).
“Did you bring a headlamp and glacier glasses?” They must be tiring of my mountain mothering. These veterans of my last two adventures are true team players. My brother got his phone pickpocketed in Ecuador so we are bringing extra “burner” phones for photography. I can only hope this doesn’t mark us as cartel employees with our excess luggage to include helmets and harnesses.
Huayna Potosi is no slouch. At 19,974 feet, this is Bolivia’s ninth tallest peak. It will take time to acclimate through climbs of neighboring Austria and Charkini peaks. From the comfort of La Paz, I hope to rest, hydrate and not answer my phone while we climb and weave our way through this cultural city. Provided they let us into the country.