Day 1

Good morning, world!

The calendar marks December, the 8 th, 2011 si we’re on the Hungarian airport, where our adventure towards Pico de Orizaba begins. After 33 hours of bus and plane travelling (plus the time between flights), here we were, in Puebla, a city situated at only a few hours away from the starting point for the summit. Our first mexican food is called pelona, kind of an avocado sandwich, totally delicious! By the way, it was our first and last non-spicy meal, eaten in Mexico.

Day 2

We had great fun visitng the city and its cute streets, admiring the impressive tile plates (Talavera plates), used for covering up the buildings. The full name of the city is  Puebla de Los Angeles, which explains the dozens of angels guarding the main cathedral of the town.

We found out that here, there can also be found the Palofoxiana Library, which hosts an extremely rare copy of the Nuremberg  Chronicle .

In the Zocalo, the main area, we spot a traditional dressed mexican man and we take advantage of a great photo offer in this latino state. Next stop? Lunch.  Sopa de coditos,  o macaroni salad, with meat and vegetables, Pipian Verde, what I would call an alien meal, but, as usual, delicious! And very spicy, this time…

After lunch, our mexican friend Walter, takes us by car to Tlachichuca, and then, further, to Hidalgo, the village situated at the highest altitude in Mexico.

We set camp in  “Flor del Hielo” (ice flowers), and go for a few hours aclimatation trip. During night time apparently the mexicans were celebrating “La Guadelupana Fiesta” , but I had no problem with this. As soon as I laid my head onto the matress, I fell asleep.

Day 3

15 kilos on my back, here I come! Plecat-am!

We trek in a constant way, stopping from time to time. The altitude signs pop up, head aches already touch us,  and slowly, we approach the refuge. But minutes and hours pass by…and, we couldn’t understand why…People who had climbed this trail before said it was due to last 4 hours. But then we realised! At one point, the road forks up: a large one and a narrow one ahead. Whici one to choose? Of course that we choose the narrow path, because the large one should be used by the cars that were transporting people to the hut. Wrong, but sure was a life lesson!

Just arrived at the  Piedra  Grande   refuge, we met french, american and mexicans teams, getting ready for the last assault. We decided to take a break that night and be better used to the high altitude.

Day 4

When I woke up, the refuge was almost empty, and I hadn’t even heard a sound when all those people prepared their summit departure. (Weird, though, because everyone else said they had made terrible noise). Breakfast, equipment on and a 3 hours aclimatation trek, only on scree, which meant a triple effort: one step forward, two steps backwards.

We were walking quite slowly, because one could feel the altitude effects and the path through the section called ”labirinth”, could barely be  spotted.

Once down, back in the refuge, we meet Senor Martinez, a well-Known mexican guide.
After finding out our place of origin si told me 3 words: Nadia, Hagi and vampires! It’s awesome to find out  that far away from your country, in Mexico, people know beautiful things about Romania and tell us the names of Romanian personalities that will be engraved in history!

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Alpinists who climb this summit, usually set off at 2 am. We choose 4. Why? No crevases. Easier to find our way through the labyrinth, and, well, a better idea! 🙂

Read more about our Pico de Orizaba expedition in the next part of my little journey: http://alexandraflaviamarcu.ro/en/jurnalul-alexandrei-pe-pico-de-orizaba-partea-a-doua/

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