Day 57 - September 28th

Alrighty! We're gonna climb a mountain today. We hopped in the van at 11:30pm (yesterday) and got to the trailhead at about 11:45. There were 14 of us in total, and we were all super excited to see the sunrise in the morning. The trail is 14 km each way, and sunrise was set for 6:00am. It's the super moon day, so the trail is nice and lit up for us!

We're off! The first 2.5 kms were pretty fast - we managed to do it in about 40 minutes. Realizing we would get to the peak way too early, we tried to pace ourselves. Was pretty easy to do with the lack of sleep setting in, and the fact we had a huge group. Up until the 7.5 km mark we slowed right the point where we thought we might need to giddy up to be there in time. At that point we split up - the 2 of us were in the lead group (obviously, cause we're super fit...) with 5 others. We ended up arriving at a shelter about 15 mins from the top at 5:20am. Ideal! There were two guys from Washington in the shelter already... They went really quickly up the volcano and summited way too early. Being at 3474m meant that it was super cold. We put on all our warm clothes and power napped for 15 mins until it was time to summit and see the sunrise. This gave us all a chance to get rid of our altitude headaches too. It was beautiful, but really really cold! Was about 5 degrees Celsius, but it was super windy too. Once the sun came up, we were able to see both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at the same time. How neat is that?!? It was the first time either of us had seen the Atlantic ocean since that time we drove a van across Canada (but that's a whole 'nother story). We got some pictures, and the other group showed up right at 6:00 so they got to see the sunrise too. Excellent - good job team! On the way down, more groups split up. We were all pretty tired and pooped. One of the German girls was especially not feeling well, and Swedish girl had a bummed knee. As did Dave, from the little cliff jumping incident in El Salvador. It made for an interesting trek as the trail was really just a major 4x4 road to access some towers at the top...lots of loose rock and not super steep - the worst. We weren't very fast. In our group, we had Trevor, Dave, the Swedish girls (Lina and Hannah), and Anna. It was cool seeing the trail we hiked up since the first time was in the dark. Along the way, the 2 of us were in continual search for Turnips for our Botanist friend we met back in San Cristobal...and we were successful! Alex is going to be soooo happy. These ones even have seeds, how exciting! We will find a way to mail them to Wisconsin or something. A long, 6.5 hours down, after multiple mid-hike naps along the way we made it down. We were about to get a taxi, when a truck came down carrying the German girls. Unfortunately, the one was so sick she couldn't walk and had to be carried the majority of the way. Good thing they eventually found help. She was fine in the end tho, so that's good. We got a ride from the same person in the back of the pickup back to town which was nice too. Back at the hostel by 1:30pm, it was time for a much needed snooze. Trevor slept til 4 and Dave slept til 7. We met up with some others that were waking up and did the hike and went for a celebration beer at the bar and grabbed some food, before going back to bed at 10:30. What a spectacular and tiring day.

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