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Thwarted.  Thwarted of my third summit by beings (are they alive?) too small to see.  Yup.  Incan gringo death rot is what you'd probably be tempted to call it.  It's what I'm tempted to call it.

A few days ago in Otavalo - thankfully the night after visiting Jose's tapestry workshop and the market - lots of little deadly buggers decided to set up camp in my system.  It's cost me a trip to the hot springs (damn) a training hike (meh) and so much strength that making it to the hut on Cotopaxi would be wishful thinking let alone summiting.

The guides, for their part, have been nothing but supportive.  Woke them up the first night to basically be told what I already should have known - start taking Cypro.  They were patient with me on the 3 hour drive back from Otavalo to Quito and then really became aware I wasn't doing this as some sort of strange prank.  Talking with Nelson this morning about Cotopaxi the conversation went something like this:

Me: I just don't have the strength to make a dent in Cotopaxi and it's starting to look like it'll be a long while until I do.

Nelson:  Don't discount human recovery man - we've got three days still till the climb and now that the Cypro has you cleaned up we should be able to rebuild you.

Me:  The Cypro hasn't done jack and it's been the required three days.

Nelson:  Really?  Yeah, you probably need to see a doctor or something.

So with that and a few other discussions I rebooked my flight from quito from the 13th to the 9th (tomorrow).  And let me tell you - trying to rebook a flight over a shitty phone connection between someone who speaks no spanish and someone who speaks poor english battling with a last name like "birkenbuel" can be like pulling teeth.  I ended up calling continental's 800 number from my cel phone just to make sure everything took.  Yeah, long distance on a cell phone from quito to the states while roaming in ecuador, that's going to be a fun bill to see.

Anyway.  Today is the first day in about 3 days I've had the strength and, uh, "stability" to roam outside of the hotel and type.  I was going to painstakingly peck out an update from my cel phone but I forgot the email authentication scheme I set up to post via email - made it too secure :)

Sherry felt bad but I told her that I'd summited one peak and thrown myself bodily at a mountain that would not be summited that day and I shared it with a friend so it was all good.  That and with now 5 continents under my belt and innumerable stupid health risks I really was due for something like this.

We'll see how trying to leave the country tomorrow goes, then trying to meet with a doctor as quick as I can.  It'll be interesting for certain.  I will certain remember this trip though :)

Shoutouts to people who will never read this:  Henry, the jokes make up for the snoring (barely);  Christina, always handy to have a doctor on hand, but please no more OBGYN horror stories;  Nelson and Jaimae, worthy of trusting my life with, I'll try the tabletop traverse when I get home; Papa Noel, coolest beard ever.


Incan gringo death rot. Sweet band name.

Zack Buddy! I hope you are better by now. Hanging out with you I discovered it is much better to travel between continents than with incontinents! Sorry about the snoring! Papa Noel tells me the beard has been lost to his wife's scissors as consideration for his summit success on this trip. Henry


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