Today was another early start since we were due 10 and half hours walking uphill. I was first awake besides the hut caretaker whom was lighting the fire as I headed for a wash at 430am.
Since my watch is still missing a pin neither if us nor the guide had the time, and therefore had not really known how long the hike had taken us until we ha arrived. Turns out we smashed yesterdays whole hike out in 3 hours rather than 4-6!! Today wasn't much different to the highest hut on mountain, Chistepoe at 2000m. We made it in 2.5 hours instead of 5!! We had been setting amazing pace.
Once we arrived the cloud cover was setting in, and before long wee were in the cloud making it impossible to hike to the summit today. We arrived at just before 8 and had the while day to burn high in the mountain with nothing to do except play cards and chat. Luckily a German chap joined us and probably felt bombarded with questions, we were so bored. Early afternoon brought heavy rain, and with a corrugated iron room was painfully loud. Once the rain had cleared the river running next to the hut (no oasis) had turned from a mellow flow to a raging torrent. Amazingly quickly it gained in size and power serious White water and coming from such height had amazing power! As quickly as it arrived it vanished. Back to cards.
That evening we huddled around the fire and exchanged knowledge if areas with this well travelled German.
Sleeping next to the fire was not probably the best idea in a plastic foil sleeping bag, but it was so cold up in that altitude I didn't worry too much at the time, warmth was my main concern.
During the night Tom with his limited fire skills pulled the dying fire up with wood, resulting in me waking in a coughing fit due to the thick smoke within the small hut. Which was not appreciated in the early hours, after opening a door and checking the other two were actually alive, trying to get back to sleep was a nightmare....