I still have a few hours till departure . . . my house is filled with climbing gear... photo equipment...video equipment... some pressure and background music. I already feel the weariness of the two day flight and another three day march until the high areas. I check again and again the blades of the ice axes, the carabiner screws, the altitude bots, the ropes, the altimeter and everything that may seem not thoroughly checked. The optical equipment has already been “polished” by skillful men from IOR; Chargers of all kinds lay beautifully arranged for power charging. I empty the storages and the hdds of my laptop. I seal the photo and video cameras. Weather will be constantly wet and cold there...helplessly wet and cold.
The scale always pulls my ears ”take that out...much too heavy...replace it with something lighter”. Slowly but surely things begin to gather and crowd in my rucksacks, all will pass through the scale and checking filter.
I leave to the end the photo and video equipment...too much packing strategy required, especially as I am attempting to cheat a bit the scale… and taking more hand luggage kilos than allowed. It’s not the first time so I will not feel guilty. Obviously I will put on my climbing boots here. Yes, I am aware I will look like a diver with flippers, but this is what it takes to look good for the scales.
Two bottles of Romanian Transylvanian tzuica slipped inside my backpack will be the delight of cold gloomy evenings, the passport, the tickets, the money, and the soft sound of doors closing behind. I am on my way…shortly to arrive there. The Satwa Guna journey/expedition begins.