ENTRY TEN (June 14, 2004) "ALONE"

Predawn was filled by a shared preoccupation- the team was caught in an unexpected and total isolation. The possibility of not acquiring pack animals, which were vital to the expedition's movement, was compounded by the absence of Paulino and Goyo. Time was passing and all were eager to advance. And then the morning brought unexpected and welcomed good weather: the sun! By early afternoon, another miracle: Goyo and Paulino appeared! They related how they had gone all the way to "Sacramento" in the valley of the Rio Mapacho, a distance of biblical proportions. And, they announced, mules, and "arrierros," mile drivers, would be arriving soon. And, sure enough, just before the last flickers of the Andean sun sunk below the peaks, two mules and three men arrived. The mules' owner stayed in camp that night, as the other two campesinos went to sleep in a nearby lonely rickety cabin. The team was crowded, with seven men in two tents, but that was fine. The expedition was on its way again.

~ Greg Deyermenjian