Volcano Sairecabur – 6000m!!
After whizzing around in La Paz, the breathtaking altiplano and Salar de Uyuni i was quite used to the high altitude and when i saw they offer tours to this volcano out of San Pedro de Atacama it was a clear thing – that’s where i want to go to
So they picked us up at the hostel at 06.00h in the morning zzzzZZZZZ and we drove into the valley up to about 4500m where they prepared breakfast on the ‘backflap’ of the pick up. At that altitude it was freezing cold so it was not exactly a long breaky. With a hot mate de coca in our stomachs, we continued the dirt road up to 5500m and you could tell that not only we started to feel the altitude but also the pick up as the engine would break down now and then. Luckily we didn’t show any major problems with the height yet.
Once everybody had its gear ready, we started to hike or should i say rather climb, because this was rather a climb than a hike. First a steep part up through loose gravel where you had to try to be as careful as possible so that the one behind you didn’t get all the rocks on his head (helmets!? no, doesn’t exist in Chile… neither in the mountains nor when riding a motor bike). Afterwards it got a bit easier as we had to climb over big rocks but it went higher and higher. Doing about 150m at this altitude feels like you do 300-400m in Switzerland. It took us almost 3h to do these 500m.
However once we reached the peak it was a fantastic feeling and the panoramic view made up for all the sweat and short breathed moments. Interestingly, instead of a book they had a box and a stick for offerings on the top of the mountain. So we put some chocolate in the box and i attached my ‘1st August Placette’ onto the lama which was already dangling on the offering stick. As it was quite chilly up there and not the entire group made it to the top we just made a quick picnic and soon started again our descent.
As always going down is usually even harder than going up… but we made it down without any further incidents.
During the drive down and back to San Pedro my stomach started to develop really bad cramps – somehow it must have been a too quick drop in altitude.. the guy was racing down the mountain with the pick up. Thus by the time i arrived at the hostel, I was totally wasted and went to bed… even my room mate confirmed i looked like a dead parrot! Nevertheless ,I would go immediately again up there – it was such an amazing feeling knowing to have been on the top of a mountain that is 1500m higher than our beautiful Matterhorn!