Hello Mary: Your Next Adventure is in 41 days!

It’s the 6 week countdown to Peru, the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu:

Peru countdown: "Hello Mary: Your Next Adventure is in 41 days"
Peru countdown: “Hello Mary: Your Next Adventure is in 41 days”

So, time to get serious with the planning…

Andean Trails have a handy guide on Peru: Eat it, drink it, speak it, love it – I shall be practising my Buenos días and Buenas tardes, and looking out for plenty of aji (chili pepper) and ajo (garlic), and bright plastic ‘flowers’ tied to a pole above village doors.

I’ve also invested in two more camera batteries. We’re camping for almost all of the 3 weeks we’re in the Cordillera Huayhuash, so opportunities for recharging will me nil. I’ve looked at getting a solar panel powered recharger, such as the powermonkey extreme, but they’re designed for mobile phones and tablets rather than camera / batteries which means there doesn’t seem a straight forward way to plug in with my camera or the battery recharging unit. So I’m taking six fully charged batteries. I hope that’ll be enough.

According to the updated equipment list, I will also need some trekking poles (but not necessarily a walking ice axe, sadly) as “This trip involves the crossing of several potentially snow-covered passes and includes the option of ascending to the viewpoint, Cerro Jyamy. For this trip you must bring EITHER a ‘walking’ ice axe or a set of trekking poles. This is a safety measure only for the crossing of the passes and you will not necessarily be required to use this equipment.” I’ve never got to grips with poles/sticks – although I do remember Hazel and I agreeing, after the Thorong La descent, that there were times when they must come in very useful: mainly when walking in packed snow and slippery ice. So, I’m planning to get a cheap pair, probably these Trekrite Traveller Four-Section 58cm Walking/ Hiking Poles.

That leaves a 4 season sleeping bag. For most of our previous trips, these have always been provided and have always been excellent – on the Three High Passes to Everest we had double layer Mountain Equipment down sleeping bags. Last year’s Mont Blanc Circuit was really the first time I’ve needed to DIY, and it was camping too. I took Phil’s Ajungilak 3 season bag and was a bit cold on a couple of nights when it was rainy or we were sleeping (almost) at the foot of a glacier. So, I’ve decided it’s time to invest in a 4/5 season bag of my own… making this weekend’s mission to work out which!

Update: 19 June 2013

Sometimes, the ‘bad news’ that always seems to accompany my trips gets a little daunting… : Peru’s capital hit by earthquake for third straight day

Still, my new sleeping bag has arrived. After a visit to The North Face shop in Covent Garden, I plumped for The North Face Superlight, purchased from The Outdoor Shop, whose service has been excellent (I only placed my order on 16 June) as was their price (£199 plus free postage vs RRP £250).

The Trekrite Traveller Four-Section 58cm walking poles arrived too – not nearly as exciting.