Sunday, September 23, 2007

gaua, chapterette the second: trekking.

a few days after my arrival on gaua i went for two-day trek with an excellent trekking guide named george kite. the walk was up one mountain to the tall (120 meters, about 500 feet) siri falls, and on to a lake at the base of gaua's active volcano, mt. garet. unfortunately, i was quite ill on much of the trek... whether it was just that i wasn't properly used to the weather or the food yet, or that i actually had some kind of bug, i still don't really know.

the plan was to climb the volcano, too, but since i was unwell and since we had gotten a later start than intended due to a miscommunication, we did not make it to the lake in time to catch a canoe across to the volcano. so i had to be satisfied with climbing just one mountain instead of two. george had two of his kids with us, too, teaching them to be young guides themselves.

the bridge to the waterfall was out, making that a much longer walk than usual, and we had to climb over branches and vines to cross the rushing river on the way there. then up, up, constantly up. truth be told it was a rather miserable experience since i was feeling like i'd have to throw up every few minutes, but i held down my food and the waterfall was definitely worth it.

from there it was a less steep walk on to the lake, where we set up camp for the evening. my borrowed tent no longer had working poles, so george used stalks of bamboo as poles. he even built a shelter for the fire with bamboo tied with vines, and big laplap leaves as a roof. quite impressive.

my tent was quite leaky and i duct taped it as best i could but that didn't seal everything up for the very rainy night. it was wet and miserable, and once an item of clothing got wet it never got really dry. i was very glad when i finally made ti home not too sick and without any infected cuts. neosporin is a wonderful thing.

so is a moleskine notebook, by the way. say what you like about the trendiness of the brand, but my moleskine notebook survived a day in a pack with a wet tent and sleeping bag, with no ill effects.

see my flickr page for photos of the trek. chapterette the third is on its way.

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