I was on top of the world, and then I tripped

This morning I was up at 5 AM to have a little time on the computer before going for a hike and climbing up a mountain in India. Not something I get to say everyday. The boys were late meeting with the York College students and we didn’t actually start our walk until nearly 6:30 AM. Time is relative in India, we have come to learn, and just because someone says they will meet you at a certain time, don’t expect them to keep their word. Finally, we were off.

It was still a little dark out and drizzling slightly.

It was still a little dark out and drizzling slightly.

The boys said the walk was 2 kilometers in distance or 1.25 miles so I wasn’t worried. (They changed their story after the walk and said it was more like 6 km or 3 and a half miles, give or take. They didn’t want to scare us off I guess.) The walk to the mountain was interesting. As we passed through the village people stared like we were the local sideshow…oh yeah, we are the sideshow this month. It’s not everyday the HOINA boys walk through the village with ten females. Everyone was friendly though, waving as we passed through. It seems to be rare to encounter someone who isn’t friendly in India to be honest.

We reached the area where construction is taking place. There were piles and piles of stones where there will be schools and condominiums built. Some of the boys decided to run across the piles of stones. I walked around them as they weren’t very stable and I still had the mountain to conquer. The boys got a kick out of sinking into the stones and sliding down the sides. The billboards proudly proclaimed some major construction coming in the future. I know India is hurting for living space but it seemed a bit sad to see the trees coming off the mountainside.

sprinting across the stones

sprinting across the stones

The future of the mountain

The future of the mountain

So we took the sometimes really skinny trail toward the top of the mountain. It was only cleared about 3/4th of the way up. The “road” and I use that term lightly, came to an abrupt end where the bulldozer sat waiting for someone to fire it up and resume clearing the mountainside. The drill holes where the dynamite was dropped in was obvious. The thought of dynamite in this country scares me…

The view was amazing but a bit hazy. I think it a combination of humidity and smog. It might have just been the weather also because it was raining but hot, unlike home which is raining and really cold. Freezing cold and that’s not happening in India, not even in the freezer.

Top of the world...ok, just the side of the mountain, but close enough.

Top of the world…ok, just the side of the mountain, but close enough.

Our mountain guides

Our mountain guides

So on our way back down I couldn’t help but notice the rock wall that beckoned me to climb it. A couple of my classmates walked up to it but just didn’t have the guts to go for it. I said, “I think I can climb that.” My new brothers were adamant with, “No, sister, too dangerous.” They don’t realize I enjoy a smidgen of danger and sometimes a spattering! So I handed over my camera and bag and went for it, and it was easy to scale. I just didn’t stop or think about it, only focused on moving forward and up and in no time, I was at the top, pulling myself over the ledge. No problem, my brothers! After they saw the “mom” of the group could do it without a hitch, they all followed like sheep.  Baaaaa!

Sheep Leader

Sheep Leader

My sheep

My sheep

After the climactic climb, we made our way back down the mountain. The view was just amazing as the fog/smog burned off. At one point I yelled down the mountain to Caitlin…amazing how the voice can carry. The villagers probably heard my shout out to my sister from another mother. We saw some vintage farm equipment on the way back. I guess it’s vintage, but around here, you never know. It was decorated for Christmas either way. 😉

Taking the easier way back down

Taking the easier way back down

This roller wishes you a Merry Christmas

This roller wishes you a Merry Christmas

We were nearly back to the village and actually walking on paved road. Yes, there are some smoothly paved roads out in the middle of no where. It was pretty amazing considering we have spent so much time on dirt roads, bouncing around like beans inside maracas, and the next thing I know gravity has taken over as my left ankle took a bad turn. I can’t get over that I can play cricket with teenagers and climb a rock wall, but I can’t walk down a paved road with out nearly breaking my ankle. I didn’t actually trip (just sounded good in the title) nor did I fall to the ground, but I did manage a nice sprain. I took it easy the rest of the day and with some pain killers (no prescription needed in India!) I’m feeling pretty good today, maybe not on top of the world, but much better than last night!

The sprain was a drain

The sprain was a drain

Loving India but can’t wait to come back home!

~P.

 

Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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