25th January 2016. I woke up at 7:20 and had a cosy snooze until 8am. I got up and went to breakfast. Today there was a fresh stock of dulce de leche to go with the pancakes so I smothered each one with thick layers of this sweet, caramel heaven. After breakfast I called home and managed to speak to my Mum briefly on the satellite phone which was really nice. I also took a bit of time to enjoy the scenery and watched one of my favourite types of cloud, the lenticular cloud, bobbing along on its journey across the sky. It may sound pretty dull but in our hectic, non-stop, stressful and overwhelming lives, how often do we have the time to watch the clouds.
The rest of the morning was spent listening to music and reading my book, Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar. The book was recommended by Bruce when we were in Mendoza so I bought and downloaded it to my phone at the hotel before we left. It started off brilliantly and I was hooked. Thanks for the recommendation Bruce! We were gathered together in the group tent and Bruce remember he’d brought some playing cards with him. He and Johnny taught the rest of us how to play Hearts and we had a couple of rounds while we waited for lunch.
A curried ratatouille style dish with rice and cheese was served for lunch, followed by fruit salad and yet more dulce de leche. Another fantastic meal.
After lunch we continued playing Hearts, with the rule the first to 150 points loses. I still didn’t completely grasp how to play the game so wasn’t doing brilliantly. Bruce and Johnny were card game masters and kept winning. Tincho also held his own. Someone had to be the loser and I was comfortable with that.
In this game I had racked up a lot of points very fast but had managed to see off the two others. I was close to defeat and it was a head to head – Johnny vs me. The overall champ vs. the overall loser. It was tense. The tent went quiet. Johnny, who had been blasé about his Hearts playing skills, made his move. Oohhh, it was the wrong move. Bam, 150 points. First to 150 loses.
I still wasn’t sure how the game worked, so innocently asked “so Johnny, does that make you the loser?”. The whole tent erupted with laughter at Johnny’s look of defeat (you had to be there).
With my card game victory I retreated to the warmth of my sleeping bag to read my book until dinner. The weather was really coming in now. It was freezing and extremely windy. Food time soon came around so I snuggled up into my down jacket and walked across to the tent. Dinner was a delicious hot broth followed by chicken breast with mashed potatoes, then a really light, delicate orange iced cake. There was an excellent baker at Plaza Argentina!
After dinner we got the great news that we we’re moving up to camp 1 tomorrow. Exciting! Bed time for a good rest ahead of another heavy carry day tomorrow.
From IMG’s blog:
“It was a carry day yesterday to C1 for Jonathan Schrock and team on Aconcagua. Rest day at base camp today and hopefully moving up to C1 tomorrow.” See here: http://www.mountainguides.com/wordpress/2016/01/25/aconcagua/aconcagua-mexico-team-covering-some-ground/