January 2, 2007 - A Colorful Collection of Passports

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The beautiful beach of Bahia Inglesa

It’s remarkable to have 8 of our Berg Adventures Bolivian staff here on the beach in Chile.  Remember that these guys all live between 12,000ft and 13,000ft in the area of La Paz and of course they work much higher in the mountains than that.  To have them down here on the warm beach in Chile is not a normal situation and the guys are really enjoying it.  After the bus came in from the airport yesterday, I hung out on the beach for a bit with the guys and we enjoyed the new setting down by the water in Chile.

Today the rest of the team showed up, Martin, Dafna, Guilherme, Nikki, Danny, Carol and Jeff all came in on the shuttle from the airport and met us in the afternoon.  I have to say that we are glad to know that Klaus’ bags were on that shuttle as well, so we not only have all 12 members but we got all our luggage and we are set to go for the expedition.

Steve enjoys the views from his hotelThe rest of New Year’s day yesterday was really relaxing.  There is a little bar down the beach that we call the Dome and that is where Opus, Erin, Steve, Jerri and Klaus like to hang out.  Claire is still trying to get over her four continents in four days travels to get here, so she tells me every morning when I see her in the lobby of the hotel, how nice it was to sleep for eleven hours.  I could tell she’s very relaxed here on the beach as well.

Tomorrow we will take off in the four wheel drives as we travel higher up the Atacama desert and we approach the high cold region at the base of Ojos del Salado.

Later in the day:

Listen to Audio of Wally's Call (.wav)

As we get up closer to Ojos we’ll be in a frontier area of Chile and we will have to check in with various police stations there and have our passports checked.  It’s interesting with this very international group, the collection of passports that we have in our stack that will be checked as we travel along the way.  In this group we are going to have passports from the United States, Canada, Austria, Australia, England, Brazil and of course with the 8 Berg Adventures staff from Bolivia, Bolivian passports as well.                                                         

Juancho and Oswaldo enjoy the beach in Bahia InglesaSo there is quite a colorful collection of passports that are heading up the road in our four wheel drives with us.  Very international crew, very happy crew that seems to be really enjoying one another company. 

If you follow Berg Adventures dispatches many of these climbers are veterans of various other Berg Adventures trips and they know one another well from those adventures.  We have Elbrus, Mount Vinson, Bolivia and Everest Base Camp veterans here.  A bunch of old friends, a bunch of new friends and we are looking forward to great success and great adventures on this trip in Chile and Argentina in the coming weeks.  Please stay tuned for our dispatches.

22,841 feet
6962 meters

22,637 feet
6900 meters