June 28, 2006 - Sajama Base Camp

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Wildlife on the way to Sajama

Ola amigos, its John calling from Sajama base camp.  Today was a pretty easy day, we started the day after breakfast watching our staff play soccer.  Of course being Bolivian and with the World Cup going on right now, the boys, Juan Carlos, Charlie, Pedro and many others were playing soccer this morning before we left, they had a grand ol’ time.  Even Alex our bus driver was playing.  I think they ended up tying two games each.           

Jerri BryantWe then left our hostel and we hiked for about 2 to 3 hours on easy trail in the high Atacama Desert which is very stark and quite a bit different from Condoriri where we spent our time earlier on this trip.  Along the way we were treated to views of vicuna, which are very similar to llamas and alpacas but not domesticated.  They are wild and very hard to get close to; they are much finer as well, not as robust looking as the other animals are.

Later on where we stopped for lunch, all the guides including myself and Philippe were actively bouldering.  There were some great rocks near by and we quickly threw down a few problems.  It was great.  Jerri mentioned that we were going at it for about 15 minutes on this particular boulder before any of us bothered to even think about having a bite to eat or some lunch.  Such is the way with climbers.

Later we arrived at our base camp and we are here now getting things sorted out, our dining and cooking tents are up for the staff and all of the Berg Adventures North Face tents are set up and people have laid out their beds for the evening and just going through their gear, taking a bit of rest before dinner.  Tomorrow will be a good hike so they are getting rested and ready for Sajama.

Soccer fever in Bolivia

We are right below Sajama at the base and we have wonderful views of both the northwest ridge, which will be our route, and also the southeast ridge as well.  Just gorgeous views here in this little valley where we can see this monster of a mountain.  Weather looks good here and people are hanging in there.  It’s been a long trip but they are still pretty motivated and tomorrow we’ll have another great day here in Bolivia.

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