Monday, 21 March 2016

Post card from Adam's Peak

When I found out I was coming to Sri Lanka, the first thing I googled was what to do when I get here. The number one tourist attraction here is Sri Pada, more commonly known to us as Adam’s Peak. Adam’s Peak is a famous pilgrimage sight for Christians, Muslims and Buddhists, as it’s believed to be the place where Adam first set foot in the world after being cast down from heaven, and also it is home to the sacred footprint of Buddha.

Adam’s Peak is over 5200 steps, and is usually climbed at night in order to see the sun rise at the summit, in the morning. Most people start at 2:30am to get there for 6:30am, but as it’s pilgrimage season, we left our hostel at midnight, to give ourselves more chance. At the beginning of the climb, we were greeted by monks who blessed us and gave us a white bracelet, and then we were off. For the first couple of hours, we were making good time and had only stopped once for a sugary coffee. Although it’s only steps, the steps are incredibly random, with some being steep and some further apart from others, so it’s impossible to get into a good rhythm. It’s also quite cold because of the position on the mountain, so I bought a woolly hat to keep my head warm!

And then we hit the queue.

We reached the queue at around 3am in the morning and slowly creeped up the mountain to be near the top for sun rise at 5:30am. The sun was absolutely breath taking, and it really did make the whole climb seem amazing up until that point. However, we still had a way to go and two girls decided enough was enough, and turned around.

Being the stubborn perfectionist that I am, me and two others waited for another 3 and a half hours and finally reached the summit. The views were incredible, and the pictures really don’t do it justice at all. The sense of achievement and pride also made the whole thing worth it.

The way back down was actually much harder. The pressure on your legs makes them shake so badly, especially because you’ve changed from going up to powering back down – and believe me, you really do have to power walk back down because otherwise you just won’t make it.

I have never been so tired in my whole life, and have slept so much since returning back down, but it really was one of the most amazing things I've ever done. And although I wouldn't put myself through it all again, it was 100% worth it.

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