We spent the night there in our hammocks (crashed at dark/7pm). It dumped rain which I loved but I got the sense that it did this every night and because of that the mosquitoes are thicker than you could ever imagine. They were so bad that, even though my hammock had a mosquito net, there we so many mosquitoes that I literally couldn’t sleep because the buzzing noise, outside of my hammock, was so loud. I’m not exaggerating. It was a crazy night.
Then my mind started playing games on me and it started thinking I was getting bit everywhere which caused my body to itch...everywhere. I broke out in hives and was itching everywhere for 6 hours straight. Did I say everywhere.
I finally couldn’t take it any longer so at 2:44am I got out of my hammock, knocked on their door and took them up on the offer to sleep inside. The second I got away from the killers and my head hit the bed inside, my body stopped itching and I was instantly asleep. Lance slept through the whole thing. I guess I’m a lighter sleeper than he is. Lance’s rain tarp was a little small for his hammock so the water was coming down into his hammock and he still slept through it all.
The next morning Juan and Viejo put ropes on their dogs, Viejo grabbed his gun and we were off to climb the mountain. They were going to hunt wild boar as soon as they got us up the mountain. Juan actually took my backpack from me (I must have looked old or something) and I was still dying trying to climb the mountain. It was brutal.
At one point I was so exhausted that I had to stop. Mind you, I only had a few hours sleep the night before because of the mosquitoes I had to stop. I most certainly have empathy for those that are so tired that they just can’t go on. I felt bad that I was keeping them from hunting so I told them to just leave me and I’ll follow the trail to the top. “I’ll get to the top on my own” and they refused to leave me. “We won’t leave you on the mountain. We committed to get you to the top and that’s what we’re going to do. You rest as long as you need.”
We continued on...Juan said, “at the top of the mountain there’s a river that comes out of the mountain. Rio Gancho.” I asked him him, “Is the water clear?” He responded with, “for sure.” The river became my inspiration to get up the mountain. I could visualize jumping into the river to cool off.
We finally made it to the top thanks to Juan and Viejo (who didn’t drink a single drop of water the whole climb) after 4 hours of what felt like a constant stair master workout (over 2 miles of steep switchbacks) we reached the summit and the river.
I can’t tell you how glad I was to get to the top but the “river” was a little disappointing. There would be no swimming. It was barely a stream. That said I and the dogs were grateful for the fresh drinking water.
I’ve officially given Lance the nickname of Burro (at times I may call him the other name for a burro if he’s acting up) cause he just kept going and going and going and unfortunately I think I’ve taken on the official nickname of Viejo...Old Man.
Juan and Viejo headed out on their boar hunt. We said a little prayer that they would be rewarded with the largest boar they had ever caught. We’ll never know...neither of them have a phone but Wouldn’t that be nice.
El Rio Guancho!
Ever Grateful for Viejo and Juan