Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 12: Camp II to Sugapa

True to form, the expedition ended on a difficult and stressful note. Ed and I, eager to drink a soda, hurried on with Poxy and made good progress towards Sugapa. We were attempting to make it through our initial first two days in one. We made it to lunch in the village of suangama in a speedy 3:45. We were each served a plate of the local yams and a spinach-esqe plant along with a stick of sugar cane. It was surprisingly good! I ran out of water though, which wasn't a big deal because we were only an hour and a half hike to the motorcycle pickup site.

After completing this section in just over an hour, Ed and I celebrated the completion of our trek and sat down to wait for a motorbike. We waited about 10 mins before our companion--one of the cooks--motioned down the road to Sugapa and said the motorbikes were that way. Disappointed by the prospect of continuing our 'completed' trek, we marched on nonetheless knowing the Sugapa was close.

After a half hour of walking we still hadn't seen any motorbikes and were starting to get frustrated. When we finally reached the supposed motorcycle meetup point, we were again disappointed: no motorbikes.

We sat down there to wait for them. And we proceeded to wait, in the rain, for the better part of the hour. Eventually I asked our cook, "Where are the motorcycles?" and he responded, "Sugapa."

Not exactly the response I was hoping for. After confirming that we would indeed have to walk all the way to Sugapa, we began the final couple hours in a sour mood. Ed went on ahead and I walked up in the middle, with the cook bringing up the rear. The hike turned out to be a 2.5hr slog almost entirely uphill. It honestly felt harder than anything we'd done the entire trip. I had to stop every fifth feet to catch my breath and rest. On top of that, I had long since run out of water and was massively dehydrated in the 90+ degree temperatures.

I reached a fork in the road. Not remembering this point, I randomly selected the left side branch and walked for another hour into the village of Sugapa. I got quite lucky. I waited at our hut for another hour before Ed arrived. He had taken the right side road and had gone on a massive detour. I would not have been able to handle that.

In all, it had taken just under 7.5hrs of walking for me and Ed to reach Sugapa. Compared to the past two days (9.5 and 8.5 hrs respectively) it was short, but still a tough one. It took my mother another hour before she came in and then Robert didn't arrive until nearly 11 hours after we had set out. He had taken a wrong turn and spent several anxious hours unsure of the path. Luckily one of the head porters rescued him.

Tired but content after today's long day, we are all headed to bed early tonight. We have a 6:30am flight (weather permitting of course) and could be back in Bali tomorrow afternoon! Wouldn't that be something...

When I saw this sight, I knew we were back in civilization! Yay!!! Not exactly NYC, but at least there are other people and shelter!

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