Saturday, October 16, 2010

Phase 1 begins

Tomorrow I am off climing Volcan Turrialba for 4 long days. The first three days are the ascent - around 2500m, followed by an 18km downhill day before I meet up with the first food drop and am whisked away to Fieldbase for 1000 hours of sleep. I'm packing as light as possible and will be getting some help with adjusting my bag to keep the weight in the right place - on my hips (which is quite hard when you don't have any) and off my shoulders.

Volcan Turrialba is the smoking volcano visible in one of my earlier pictures(between the rows of sugar cane). We climb right up to the summit through primeval jungle with lots of wildlife about. I meet up again with this trek a couple of weeks later to do another summit - the Dragon, this time sans backpack as it is a day trip up and down (we can drive fairly close to it).

So tomorrow morning I'm off very first thing, to return late on Tuesday the 19th and will be around fieldbase for a couple of days before heading off on a roadtrip of Costa Rica to visit the other three projects. Not sure on dates at the moment but will update when I know.

Computer wise - the motherboard has failed and a new one is on its way from wherever - 9-10 days as of tuesday I think, then a day to fix, puts it at around the 26th of October if all goes well. Hopefully if we are on the road then we can swing by San Jose to pick it up!

Lens wise... it's very hard to sort. No one sells anything Nikon in Costa Rica, and if I'm not careful I will be hit with a massive import duty when I buy something. Add to that the difficulties of actually paying - no one will take a visa issued in NZ with a delivery address in Costa Rica which means that I need to try use a bank/Western Union here to wire money directly from my Visa to their account or call BNZ internationally as they don't have any facility to do it online (at least as far as I can see). One of the semi-permanents here is heading back to London for a couple of weeks which could be useful though... But then my current lens actually still works - it just doesnt zoom by twiting it - I need to manually pull it out and push it in again.

Here are misc photos as I've been a bit slack. Still quite hard without a decent computer.

If the colours are all wrong then tough - can't see shit on this screen. Everything is a weird shade of green....