So we had been warned that day 2 was the hardest day of the trek.  It would be approximately 6 hours, uphill.  Over 1000m total to the highest point, Dead Woman’s Pass – a name which I came to find out was very fitting indeed.   Imagine 6 hours of doing the stairmaster, without oxygen.  Its tough!

After only a couple hours, you can see the pain on my face:

It was amazing how we could pass through such different terrain as we went along:  Arid mountains, humid jungle, grassy valleys.  Incredible!   Mike was clearly having a more enjoyable time than I was:

Phew, I get tired just looking at that picture!  In any case, we ate our snacks, drank our water, and used plenty of expensive runners energy liquids and gummie electrolyte treats.  About 1/3 of the way to the top it began to rain, and get very cold.  I can’t convey enough how difficult this became as the air got thinner, and thinner, and thinner as we went.  It is a feeling as though you cannot catch your breath, which is very disconcerting.   What is interesting is that you have no idea how your body is going to handle altitude until you experience it for yourself.  It seemed to me that your body health and your physical shape almost didnt matter.  They day after we completed the trek a young triathlete had to be airlifted off the path, as she had become so ill.  So hey, you never know!

My tip:  Don’t be a hero.  Go at your own pace, even if you’re last.  Take lots of breaks.   Eat lots, drink lots.

Here I am struggling 200 m from the top:

I think I might be smiling in that picture?  Its likely because I was delusional.  No, really.  At this point my brain started to malfunction, and according to Mike I kept talking about “getting the beans”.  Whatever that means!

But we made it.

Now for 2 hours downhill to get to the campsite…