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Tuesday, 6 April 2010

El Cerro

So the 26th of March meant Semana Santa holiday time for all of us at the university and nine whole days off work. A group of students invited me and my house mate to accompany them climbing up a big 'hill' on the outskirts of Ixtepec. On top of the hill there are rocks with Zapotec drawings and a really nice view of the surrounding areas. I tentatively agreed to it due to the fact that going to the shop round the corner from my house is difficult in the heat here. Everyday week the temperature gets higher and with every increase in temperature my body feels like it can’t possibly increase any more. Without fail, it continues to get hotter!

When I woke up on Saturday I drank loads of water to ensure that I was sufficiently hydrated as well as eating a good breakfast. At 8.30 in the morning we set off from the town square and walked for about 3 miles to the foot of El Cerro. The first three miles didn’t feel too bad. It was incredibly hot but at no point did I feel that my life was possibly at risk. Unfortunately this was not the case for the rest of the trip……

We successfully climbed to the top of the hill and when at the top took time to view all the drawings on the rocks, eat some food and drink water. Not everyone brought water with them on the walk so by the time we were walking down again there wasn’t a lot of water left. On the descent we followed a different route down the hill and along a river until it was no longer possible to walk there due to the path being overgrown. It was at this point that we started walking through what was basically brush and the more we progressed the less conducive the terrain was for walking along.

The further we walked the fewer paths we could find until it became clear that we were lost and nobody knew the exact way out. This slow process occurred as the midday heat really started to set in and as everyone had ran out of water it was a rather bad situation to be in. At this point after all the walking I was feeling so incredibly hot to the point of feeling dizzy. Luckily after searching for a while we found our way out of the brush and onto a path that led us back onto a road were we flagged down the first bus that came past! It was a lesson well learnt that the heat here is so intense that it is possible to get into a really dangerous situation quickly. We eventually made it back into Ixtepec and the only thing that everyone could think about was finding water of some kind. The first drink i took felt like the best drink of water i've ever had!

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