sábado, 17 de marzo de 2018

A trek into the unknown part 2

Al takes his trousers off and finds a spot where the 9 meter wide river gushing down is divided into two almost equal parts by a small boulder that slows the rapid flows somewhat, he crosses successfully but is complaining of the cold waters. C, the German is second, he decides not to take his trousers off and hits the water with his bare feet, looking a little unsure I follow him closely. a few meters close to the other side Al stretches out a wooden stick, C grabs the stick but for some reason loses his balance and falls backward.I push him onto Al and he is home safe. I take a deep breath and return to get S the tough lady from London whose backpack must be the heaviest of us all. She steps into the water only to slip, she falls and the rapids would have washed her away had I not aggressively pulled her hand towards the middle and onto the other side where Al was standing. She is shivering with cold. At least we are all safely on the other side. I go back a third time for C's boots. Al is keen to move on rapidly to reach the shepherd's hut we know is somewhere close to our path, I ask him to stay put. You do not split the group in these circumstances. Al who is an experienced hunter and knows survival techniques by instinct rapidly makes a fire which warms us up. Half an hour later we are set to go, glad to have crossed the river. The trail is endless. We hit darkness and there is still no sign of the hut we have seen many times on other occasions from the other side of the valley. The forest is getting denser and although we have headlamps the trail sometimes is hard to find due to fallen leaves from previous autumn.It is clear that the trail has not been used in a long time.Around 11pm we hear the barking of dogs from a distance. It takes us a good 45 minutes to come to a open flat space, the lights of our headlamps are reflected from the eyes of the sheep and goats that are resting in near absolute darkness. An oil lamp becomes visible and in the dim light it gives we see smoke coming out of the hut. We approach the hut with caution talking to the man standing there in order not to provoke the dogs. The shepherd welcomes us and is a little surprised, he had been waiting outside alarmed by the dogs expecting his friends who would be returning from hunting, illegal anywhere in these mountains. He offers us shelter, tired we enter the hut filled with smoke coming out of a central open fire on the ground. A couple of people rapped completely in blankets lie the next door on the mud floor, they must be shepherds who are fast asleep. C is the last to enter and one of the dogs attacks him and bites his leg just before he reached the entrance.