Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 224 Sri Pada / Adam's Peak

I knew that Anne was in dire need of relaxation after some stressful weeks at home. Therefore I had arranged for the perfect relaxing holiday experience: getting up before 2am and climbing up from about 1000m to 2100m on very steep stairs to see the sunrise on the top of Sri Pada a.k.a. Adam's Peak.
When we started the climb in Dalhousie we were more or less alone on the street. I was a bit disappointed, because I had expected many pilgrims around. However, when we got a bit higher we shared the way with more and more pilgrims. Most of them were simply slower than we were - many had started the climb in the evening already. Among them were old people who needed a very long time for each single step (of over 5000) - either alone or supported by their children - very impressive. Some of the steps were very high and all were very irregular - truely not an easy climb. Even when we weren't to high and it was still very warm many Sri Lankans were wearing woolen caps and/or ear protection already. Also for us the climb was pretty hard - we had to stop many times because of tiredness and exhaustion. But we made it: about half an hour before sunrise we reached the top. Many pilgrims and some tourists had spent all night at the top - despite the cold and the wind. We had a look asy the small temple on the very top - but we only realized later that this might have been where we should have looked for the Pada in Sri Pada - depending on your religious preferences the footprint of Adam, Buddha, Thomas the Apostle,... We witnessed a sunrise of incredibly colourful awesomeness over green mountains and man-like cloud formations. On the other side the newborn sun illuminated the fog over a landscape of lush hills and light blue lakes. When it got to chilly for us we started the descent: autschn autschn autschn. Despite the autschn it was wonderful - finally we could see the magnificant landscape we were walking through all night. We were once again very impressed by very old people mastering the climb. Also on the way down we stopped a few times for some rest and some chai. We felt half-dead when we finally got down and the suggestion of skipping our plan of directly going to the bus to drive to the next hike to World's End got unanimously approved. Instead we hit the bed again and only got up around 4pm. The rest of the day we spent relaxed with good food, self-made music and very funny travel companions.

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