I landed 7pm in Panama City and met up with my friend Andres who is joining me for the next three weeks on this adventure. We started driving to the trailstart of Volcán Barú (it took us 8 hours with a food stop) and got there 3:30am. Without any sleep that night we packed our bags and started hiking up the 3470 m high mountain.
We trekked in the dark with this amazing sky full of stars. We could hear monkeys in the trees and had bats flying around us.
Andres made us walking poles of bamboo. We thought it was about 2,5 hour hike to the top in a fast pace but soon realised it wasn´t. A little problem because we had not so much water and snacks with us. I had to ranson my water and could only drink two sips every km we walked. I knew it would be way too little for a long day in the tropics. But I also knew it would not kill me. Just make me dehydrated. I made the decision to continue knowing a hard day was in front of me.
Halfway to the summit the sun came up and it was this beautiful sunrise. It must have been amazing being at the summit right then. But we were not. Because we didn´t take a 4×4 to the top as most of the other tourists this day. So we kept walking up the gravel road in the forest.
The track to the summit was this road. Sometimes pretty steep and full of dust and rocks. It was one of the most boring tracks I ever hiked.
Views were amazing when you got a little bit higher up.
But when the sun came up and it got really warm it became hard with almost no water and no food. We started getting really tired and exhausted. Like our bodies were empty. We had to walk pretty slow to not waste the little energy we had.
Then the summit was within reach! The last part is a little scramble up to the top.
On the summit! It was 1800 altitude meters to get here and it took us 6 hours. That´s not very fast (ok we might have stopped for photos a few times) but mostly we were just slow because we were so tired. Last time I slept was 4 hours in New York on the way over to Panama and that was two days earlier.
Then we started to climb back down and this was the most boring and longest part of the day. It never ended. 11 hours after the start we were back at the car. Totally exhausted. Pain in the feet. Super hungry and dehydrated. This was not suppose to be a hard mountain but it became a struggle due to all of this.
As soon as we got back in the car we drove to the first restaurant we could find and ate what was suppose to be the best fish taco in Panama according to a sign on the wall. Not so sure if it was but right there, right then anything could have been the best as long as it was food.
I was happy about getting the first summit for the project and then we drove back to Panama City again for some well needed sleep.
This mountain was sponsored by The North Face – they donated 374 euro for my fundraiser for the rainforest. If you want to contribute with a donation nothing would make me happier. Click here to help save the rainforest.