03 March, 2007

Happy Birthday to me....day 2

The next morning we headed off on the hike. It was a bit cold, since I freeze if it's under 50 degrees, but luckily M had packed tons of clothes for me...The views were so incredible. I have traveled so much and seen many mountains and every time I get to a place, it seems as if the others can't compare...but of course looking back at photo's, sometimes I can't tell one place from another, but it's actually experiencing it, that makes all the difference in the world.

Along the way there were houses built hundreds of years ago into and on the mountains and it was amazing to think about what it would have been like living that way, so long ago…I imagine I would have liked it…peaceful but challenging.

After about 2.5 hours of hiking up and over various mountains we started to descend down in the crevice of two mountains....Now would be a good time to state that I use the term mountain loosely, as I am from Kansas and the highest peak is atop my sisters silo....about 15 minutes from the bottom it started to rain. As I was already freezing a serious decision had to be made...continue on to the waterfall, or continue on the circular trail back to the hostel. After huddling under a tree for shelter we were still undecided as to what to do but upon stepping out from under the tree, the clouds parted and the sun shone down with such power that I figured that it was as good a sign as any for me.

Down in the crevice was a waterfall (cascada) which emptied into a natural spring. We stopped there to have lunch. It reminded me so much of Hamilton Pool in Austin (just a bit smaller…and much colder). I was starving by the time we got there and wolfed down a huge sandwich! After that I just enjoyed the calmness and quiet and relaxed before starting off again for the final 1.5 hour hike back to the hostel...the only bad part was that it was over about 4 "mountains" and the last one was the steepest yet. Once I got to it, I was so stiff from, ahem..well, lack of physical activity...My dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro kind of dwindled away...

We kept on climbing on up higher and higher and every turn of the trail, would cause me to think "oh now we will probably now head back down" but to my dismay the trail continued to climb. In the end (as always) it was worth it! After 6 hours I was freezing, aching, hungry (again) and completely overjoyed at the opportunities I have in this life. If this is the end of my thirties, I cannot wait to start my 40's!!

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