trobec.se - Pico Bolivar 2009 - Day 01


Merida (1600 masl) - Los Nevados (2700 masl)

Text & photo: Marco Trobec   


Narrow winding road


[DAY 1 / 2009-01-02] Merida and Los Nevados - west of Venezuela

Let see, Merida... a relative small town but almost worse than Caracas regarding traffic and amount of people on a small surface. Merida is a great start for many different trips like alpine climbing, MTB, rock climbing and trekking. The travel agents that offering commersial trips are controlled, I guess, by the local 'cartel' and therefore the price is high and it's very hard to find lower prices. My stay at Guamanchi Posada was really nice but the staff could show a little bit more entusiasm and give better service - according to my experiances. Yesterday I went for a acclimatization trip, a slow trek from La Culata heading towards Mount Acuzar (no summit attempt but up to altitude 3600 masl). Soon it will be time for Pico Bolivar and back at the hotel the receptionist took her time to give her best advice for the climb - don't forgett to bring deoderant (yeah, what about harness and rope?!). Own food not allowed during trip since the climbing escort Darwin is responsible for cooking (I don't really want to call Darwin a guide, that will be unfair to real guides). Darwin cannot speak any english, my spanish is limited - just luck that other people joining us could translate, but remember that climbing is a international language! We took the jeep and left Merida for the mountains. The roads are good in the beginning, but higher up on the slopes the road gets really exposed (close to cliff edges with hundreds of meters free fall if we mess upp with the driving). This was anyway a nice part of the trip, regardless of the unexpected stop to clear the road from a fallen tree. A tip is to bring both water and the camera into the jeep - and not leave it in the backpack that are fixed on the roof of the jeep. Otherwise you will miss a lot of 'kodak moments' and you will for sure be thirsty during the road trip.



Beautiful mountain village


[DAY 1 / 2009-01-02] Los Nevados

At arrival to Los Nevados, there was a great posada with a nice view, nice staff and the small room was fine too. Before dinner a few of us went for an acclimatization hike - gave us time to meet the locals and to see some nice views down i the valley we arrive from earlier today. The common gears and food was devided in the group by Darwin and at the same time he recommended us to book mule transportation during the trip tomorrow, but I refuse to do that since there is no benefits regarding acclimatization - therefore it was decided that two persons walk tomorrow and three persons (including Darwin) use mules. To spend some time in the hammock during sunset was nice and relaxing, with a good view of the surroundings.


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