Adam\'s Peak Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
March 1st, 2008 – by: juliafrankl
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.
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.
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 hadnâ€™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 wouldnâ€™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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