Fortunately we could leave the camping gear at the campsite. Fuelled by a stomach sloshing with hot chocolate and guided by the light of the half moon, our headlamps, and our Peruvian guide Teo, we strove higher and higher into colder and harsher territory. The night lights of Arequipa were a continuous glow in the valley and I wished for the warm comfort of an airplane with similar views.
The sun came up just as I was reaching the crater, and what a cool crater it was! Steam bellowed out of yellow encrusted sulfuric vents. To me the volcano-freak there was nothing more satisfying than to reach the actual crater of a real active volcano. Ravioli wasn't satisfied, he had to reach the highest point, a 45 minute climb to a rock with a cross along the crater mouth. And he made it, that toughy, congrats!
The descent was wonderful, just an hour down a soft sandslide to the campsite to pack up, and another hour down the sandslide back to the foot of the mountain. 12 hours up and 2 hours down. But I DID it, YIPPEEEE! And noone here in Lima believes us.