Rising early to the porters wake up call.. Buenos Dias amigo .. Cafe!?
Still little dark but you snap yourself out pretty quick on these early mornings.
Roll up the sleeping bad
Fold your air mattress
And slam everything into your duffle before running out to meet the crew for breaky.
Rosa explained to us that due to the weather the previous day and its unpredictable nature in the jungle we would not be stopping until base camp 2 for lunch , a free afternoon and then dinner. As we were all getting ready this is where rosa dangled the carrot and tempted me and the Norwegian lads to really have a crack and test our selves. A stage 2 is the hardest day and dead women's pass is the most grueling terrain of the entire trek everyone is urged to go at their own pace.
"So if you boys want to go fast and try stick with the porters then why not help out and give the porters a help by starting the day with a porter pack!?"
Porter packs weigh between 25-27kg and are f***ing huge. These little porters that carry them would be lucky to be 5ft tall and 50kgs and they fly with the bloody things.
Yeah why not we'll have a crack, see how we go !?!?
Just putting the thing on your back was like holy s*** - is this a f***ing gee up! They were HEAVY!!
We said we'd do it so off we went.
Was significantly harder and each of us had a porter with us the whole time carrying our small belongings and ready to switch at anytime if it was getting too tough.
We made the first check point bout 2 hours in and had a breather. Stripped some layers because it was boiling and rehydrated aswell as a little snack.
Aksel and ostein brushed the packs- just way too f***ing heavy. But me and Alex were keen for another crack and see if we Could make the next check point. Terrain getting harder and harder, just so steep and uneven. Legs burning. Alex managed to get ahead of me after a little sunglass malfunction but I pushed on. Arrived at the second check point - f***ed!
Porter more than happy to take the Reins from here.
I had some serious questions to ask of myself. Can I actually physically accomplish this. I don't want to try and fail. I knew the hardest was to come - dead woman's pass. I thought what an achievement it would be to say I summited with the porter pack and Jamie and Theresa convinced to have a crack...
Vomuos amigo! I was ready to see what I was made of. Wasn't long in that my head started playing some real games with me. I would reach some points thinking it was the summit only to see another mountain looming ahead. I was fading. My stops became more regular for food and water. My legs were shakey and I was getting f***en dizzy!
Step by step I kept telling myself. Nearly in tears at points feeling as though my back was going to rip in half. There was no f***ing chance I was going to drop this bag now positive I could see the summit. It was literally above the clouds. Porters giving me looks like what is this stupid gringo doing but I knew this was something I had to do now! Nearing the top I could hear Alex and Jamie and the two other Norwegians. "Come on mate! Don't stop ! You can do it!"
Grit the teeth with saliva uncontrollably running From my mouth and snot from my nose.
I made it..
Dropped the bag at the top hunched over briefly with my hands on my knees then standing tall and turning to see what I had just accomplished. What I was met with was one of the most sensational breath taking I have and ever will witness! The sense of pride I felt with a single tear rivaled that of any footy game or achievement in my life to date! Something I will never ever forget!
High fiving and hooting with the boys and lots of other Trekkers coming over to call me a nutcase and say well done.
Out of our entire group I made it up dead woman's pass 5th (I think)
Alex was rooted too! Both agreed on the toughness.
Now was the decent to base camp. Another 7km down hill to our camp for the night. Having got the real hard bit out of the weigh I didn't take much convincing from Alex to march it out for bragging rights of an entire day completed with the pack.
Downhill was tough in the knees. Took me a bit to get used to but once being passed by a few porters i got the technique right. You need to run down to keep the momentum going.
Made it to camp. Shower (ice cold) , s*** (in a squat toilet) and a drink were a feet reward.
Had a very relaxed afternoon chilling out and recovering .
After dinner playing cards with rosa she told us that I the 4 years and 179 Times of completing the trail she'd never seen or heard of any gringos ever completing a full day with a porter pack - let alone dead woman's pass !
Had a little ceremony that night where we got to meet the porters and learn a little about them really cool. Amazing to think that what I had just accomplished that day was a regular days work for these guys. Gave me an all new appreciation of what these guys were doing for us !
2 down 2 to go!
Slept like a log that night