'For Adventures of a lifetime'

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Blog No.5 – The Big Challenge Begins - Main Trek Day 1

Just entering the  Toachi Canyon

The Day began in the early hours of the morning; this did not come easy for some, who are used to lie-ins and breakfast in bed. The breakfast team of Andrew, Brent and Josh   provided another delicious breakfast of porridge with condensed milk and fruit. This energy allowed everyone to pack their large rucksacks ready for the long trek ahead. After meeting our trekking guide, Joquam we packed the bags into the bus and set off on our 2 hour journey to the trekking destination. Half way through the journey we picked up Marco our local guide who would show us the route and trek with us each day.

Cameron and Jake looking forward to the Canyon

As we arrived at Zumbahua we realised we were in for a treat: the views were stunning. As Joquam explained our route for the 11km trek ahead, we realised it wasn’t as easy as we thought. We started our descent into the Toachi Canyon it proved to be enjoyable yet challenging. We stopped for lunch around 2km into the trek to refuel with nutella wraps and banana made by Po, Aled and Louis. This provided us with enough energy to follow the guides pace further into the Canyon.  After a river crossing, a few slips on stones provided everyone with a bit of humour and ample photo opportunities. Thankfully, every one made it safely across!

Crossing the river at he bottom of the Canyon

Mr L and Mr Mc enjoying a breather on the way up

We continued on until we hit a large and daunting ascent out of the gorge. Everyone seemed intimidated by how steep it was.

The last steep sandy section before the top
As the sun continued to beat down on us plenty of water and sun cream was needed just before we started our uphill battle. At first everyone was coping well with the sandy terrain, until the loose stones underfoot took its toll. Everyone slowed down and continued at a steady pace. After a few water stops and enjoying getting our breath back, we were only a few feet from the top; however, although continuing would have been a good idea, we had to stop for photos. It was simply breathtaking!

After a few huffs n puffs the proud team made it
A further three and a half kilometres saw us at our camp spot for the night - Shalala.  As we arrived everyone began to arrange their tents and other items needed for bed as the sun was going down fast and the light was closing in on us, even though it was only 6pm.  Po, Aled and Jake began the task of cooking everyone dinner and from the description it sounded like a meal for kings. As the cook team prepared the meat, vegetables and pasta everyone was getting hungry especially Jerome. The pasta, ham and various peppers, chillies and onions were ready to be served everyone swarmed in with their plates, like a herd of cattle for their feed; just as well there was enough to go around. The meal went down a treat, with no leftovers in sight. As everyone prepared for bed with a shower it was time to hit the hay. 9.30 was lights out; however, this did not matter as everyone was sound asleep well before then. A good night’s sleep was what the doctor prescribed.

James Poland 

Selfie for Cliff in the Canyon

The hill didn't really easy off on the last 'easy' section to camp


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