The Amazing Adventures of Fiona and Ashley
28 Mar 2006
|A special thank you to kieran for the inspirational title of the post.
Oh God the internet cafe is playing In Da Club, I thought we had escaped that song for a while. Sigh
ADAM'S PEAK/SRI PADA
On Tuesday night 7 of us set out to climb the terrifying Adam's Peak. There are two routes to the top of Adam's Peak. One takes about 4 hours and is all steps. The other is the original pilgrims trail and takes far longer. We arrogantly decided to follow the original walk and "Do it properly" One girl dropped out after half an hour. As it was dark and very quiet (Why would anyone want to do this horror of a walk?) Ash and another girl walked her back to our van and the rest of us kept moving. In their attempt to catch up with us climbing up all these steps they pushed themselves too fast and Ash was violently sick several times (On a holy mountain) We walked for 8 hours on the way up. This was 5000+ steps which then turned into steps made of rocks, then just the rocks and then these rocks turned into boulders we had to clamber over through streams and over trees and stuff. There was even a dodgy looking footbridge made of planks of wood and loads of them had snapped. Very Indiana Jones. 8 hours actaully went quite quickly. We kept ourselves amused by discussing how wet from sweat we all were and coming up with songs to do with mountains that we could sing were we not so out of breath. She'll be coming round the monutain; Ain't no mountain high enough; that S Club one- reach for the stars, thats it.
When we got to the top it was 5:30, an hour til sunrise. Thats the only time I have been cold since we have been in Sri Lanka. It was absolutely freezing. I was squashed into part of a set of stairs to watch the sunrise and I couldn't move or I'd lose my spot. Ahead of me was just more and more steps about the height of 4 flights of stairs beore a turn. Every step was full of people. Unfortunatley I was so tired I kept on falling asleep standing up and then waking up as I started to fall of balance. That scared me shitless I thought I was actually gonna fall down the mountain. Luckily sunrise came and it was stunningly beautiful. At 2235 metres we were higher than the clouds and everything around us for miles. The sun rose over the mountains. There was a little cloud but it made the whole walk up worth it. We were only at the top for about an hour. Its so steep that theres not much room up there. A small temple. Theres a bell to ring when you get to the top. You're meant to ring it once for each time you have climbed Sri Pada. Some people were ringing it about 20 times. Nutters. I've done it once and I'm really really proud of myself but I wouldn't do it again for love nor money. Hang on I've missed out the most important bit. Out of our group I was the first one to the top! Little old me eh?!
The walk down was terrible, everyones thinking "I've got to the top now. Can't it be over?" Theres no achievement in walking down again.My legs had seized up so much in an hour I did all the steps one at a time. It took 3 hours. Oh yeah I missed out that when we got to the top we were so knackered we didn't think we'd make it back the long way so we rang our van driver and got him to drive the 3 hours from Ratnapura to Hatton where the short trail starts. Hehe.
When we got to the bottom a young Buddhist monk obviously thought I looked like I needed some help as he gave me a bracelet and blessed me. There was also some hindu people in big orange pajama suits wanting to put tiger balm on my mozzie bites. Very knid of them but I pretty much had a bath in DEET before we went so I didn't actually have any. I think they thought I was blowing them off. No bites?!
We got back to Charleys at 6:30pm ready to sleep for a thousand years and in desperate need of a shower. When we got there there was another van waiting for us to go to Aruna. Aruna isan orphanage for boys with downs syndrome where one of the other vols was working. I'd completly forgotton we were meant to be going there to give all the boys a big meal as Heather their vol was leaving that week. As we staggered up the drive, shadows of our former selves Charley just says "Change shirt, no problem" so we went to Aruna stinking to high heaven and didn't get our own dinner til 9 o'clock when Charley also pulls out a bottle of Arrack (Spirit made from coconut sap) Needless to say we didn't make it to school the next day. In fact I didn't make it out of bed until 12:30. Thats like the evening for Sri Lankans.
love fi who has now climbed a mountain. xxx
+94 779932867 fi (sorry forgot about that international dialing bit)
+94 779932866 - Ash