Monday, January 4, 2010
Everything went great this morning doing some last minute shopping for gear in the four of the Mendoza mountaineering stores. Super expensive. I didn't need anything and was just along to watch. But I did end up buying a buff - never had one before but I did enjoy that first season of Survivor. Getting the permits was a lot of waiting around, but in the end we left Mendoza nearly on schedule.
The 3 hour bus ride up to Penitentes was very scenic. We dumped our gear at the outfitters and headed in for lunch. That's when the tragedy struck.
I had just walked into the restaurant with the group and suddenly I realized that I had left the SPOT GPS tracking device on the dashboard of the bus. I ran out of the restaurant, but the bus driver had already headed back to Mendoza!!!
I pictured everyone back at home watching the real-time tracking and going, well it looks like took one look at the mountain and said "no way, take me back to my hotel with the pool, excellent restaurant and the free Internet in Mendoza."
Crestfallen, I headed back in the restaurant and told the team my story. Our lead guide jumped up and said maybe I can talk to the outfitter and see if we can get the driver to come back or bring it out again in the morning and he dashed out.
Back at the table, I was heartbroken and began to just deal with it. A few minutes later our guide came back in and after a dramatic pause, he flashed a smile and held out the SPOT. First thought, so that's the kind of trip it's gonna be. Second thought, and the actual fact: the bus driver noticed the SPOT on the dash just after departing and turned around and dropped it off!!
As the astronauts were found of saying, "looks like we've had our glitch for this mission." Meaning there's always that one thing. Good news: the rest of the expedition will be prefect.
Posted by Kurt Hunter at 3:25 PM