A Walk in the Jungle gif

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We're Off

Stuck in the Mud!
Minivan stuck in the mud on dirt road

Back in Fores, I was up at five in the morning to catch the waiting minibus to take us on our adventure. The plan called for us to drive several hours north on an unpaved road to a town called Carmelita. Once there, we would hike for two days to the ruins, spend a day touring the site, then hike back another two days to the village. My companions for the tour turned out to be several Peace Corps volunteers, a Scotsman named Alan, and two friends of the volunteers who had travelled there to make the trek. There were three guides and a cook. One of the friends turned out to be somewhat well-known. A rock fell on his hand while he was rock climbing alone in Utah and he was forced to cut it off himself with a pocket knife. He went on to write a best-selling book about his experience and he said he now made his living giving motivational speeches around the world.

Group photo before embarking on the trail.
group photo

While driving in the minivan, there was an ominous sign of things to come. The van got stuck in the mud and we had to push it out to get in unstuck.

Carmelita is a small village with almost nothing in it. When we arrived, we met our guides and loaded our gear on mules. At this late stage, we were advised it would be a very good idea for us to have mud boots. We were pointed to the one store in the village where several of the others snapped up the few mud boots they had. Since I wear a size 12, it didnít appear they had my size in any case. I had my sturdy, well-worn Nike hiking shoes and felt I would be fine.

All loaded up, after several delays and a late start, we were at last led to the head of the trail.

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