Adam's Peak

Adam\'s Peak Travel Blog

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Adam's Peak at sunset- before we started the climb...
Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada is Sri Lanka’s most famous pilgrimage site. The 2,243 metre high peak is best climbed at night so you reach the temple at the top in time for sunrise. You can climb from two sides: we chose the shorter route which meant starting out at 2am from Dalhousie.

We got some rest at a guest house and at 2am were back in the main square, sleepy but ready to start. We met up with friends who had just arrived, and joined the steady stream of pilgrims heading up the gentle slope at the start of the climb. A towering stone gate seemed to mark the start of the serious climb - once through the portal there was less slope and more steps. We caught glimpses of the trail of lights at the top of the peak, marking the route up the mountain.
A rest stop half way up!
But as we turned a corner the view was obscured and our progress was marked by the beginning of an ache in our legs and the passing of rest stops selling hot drinks and food. We climbed slowly and steadily, welcoming the cool wind which heralded the higher steps.

There was a huge diversity of people walking with us: tourists; groups of young men and women ready for the challenge; whole families with three generations (parents carrying babies in their arms and helping up grandparents); some barefoot and some laden down with bags. Everyone was cheerful and said hello. As we moved higher the weather worsened and we entered a cloud. An orange misty glow finally appeared, created by the temple lights at the top. The steps became very steep and I had to use the handrail to haul myself up the final few.
Sun rise...


We made it to the top at 5am - a 3 hour climb. Although we were warm from the exertion, the cold weather would have soon had us shivering if we hadn’t sheltered in a concrete room filled with sleeping pilgrims wrapped in blackest and huddled up together. The top was tiny, a temple and a few steps from which you can watch dawn and survey the world. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to see the sun rising because of the bad weather, but as it came up the wind blew clusters of cloud over the peak giving us a few glimpses of the coming day. We were between two cloud layers, and they gloriously reflected the soft oranges and reds of the lightening sky. It was breathtaking.

The descent was as hard as the climb as my calves turned to jelly, but at least it was faster. As we neared the bottom we passed porters walking up with supplies balanced on their heads and tea pickers on their way to work. It was surreal seeing people start their daily routine after we had come down from such an extraordinary experience.
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Adams Peak at sunset- before we s…
Adam's Peak at sunset- before we …
A rest stop half way up!
A rest stop half way up!
Sun rise...
Sun rise...
Walking down in the morning...
Walking down in the morning...
90 km (56 miles) traveled
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Adam\'s Peak
photo by: juliafrankl