Friday, March 16, 2007
Foothills of the Andes - San Carlos
I've now walked to a town called San Carlos in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. The change of scenery is abruptly magnificent and it is espcially nice to have a cool breeze slicing through the 40 degree days. Earlier in the week I was in Ortiz where I met the wonderful Padre Vladimer who welcomed me with open arms more than once! His hospitality was overwhelming and he was particularly generous in inviting the Sunday mass congregation to pray for unity. He even got me to sit up the front while the music ministry sang a song for me. Almost embarrassing... I also ate particularly well. From Ortiz I made a marathon trip across to San Carlos over 3 days. The final day was a doozy. With the temperature tipping 39degrees I walked 60km from the Orinoco plains into the Andes foothills. I'd slept the night at a military checkpoint in my hammock (strung between two lemon trees) and began my assault on the 60km at 4:30am. I rolled into my destination at 8pm having just run out of water a km up the road. In total I drank 14L of fluid for the day! I was very tired and sore but was welcomed well by the Tinaco parish. It's amazing how much prayer time 60km allows for as well. Oh, and due to roadwork markings on the road every 50m I was able to work out that my average stride length is 91cm at a rate of 5.1km/hr. Oh yeah, exciting stuff I know... I also discovered that if you place a can of mussels with hot chile sauce in the top of your backpack on a 39degree day and then open it at 4:30pm for afternoon tea it will explode at cataclysmic speed over every inch of your clothes. Lesson learnt. I enjoyed my biscuits for afternoon tea. Please invite a friend to set their alarm for 4:01pm to pray for Unity! And a special thank you to Elsy and Jonathon for helping 'the tourist' who couldn't order lunch. God bless and peace be with you. Sam.