We’ve had our cousin Kristin from Norway (1 of the triplets) with us here at the beach for the past two weeks. A much needed break for her, the busy life of a doctor, a nice chance for us to connect again after a long time apart.
During Kristin’s stay, she and Erik with a group of friends drove to Yala National Park on the southeast coast ~ wild elephants, crocodiles, jungle safari sunrise. A few days later, she and I, and another group of friends, headed for the hill country by train and mini van and climbed Adams’ Peak, a religious pilgrimage for Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic/Christians alike, and adventurous motivated tourists with a love for the mountains.
Adams’ Peak: A whirlwind of a trip, our tribe of 6 left Hikka in the morning and reached the base of Adams’ Peak at 11pm exhausted and exhilarated by the cross-country journey. The train ride was beautiful. Kristin and I spent much of the time sitting in the open door frame with our feet hanging out, our 2 butts fitting just tight enough to keep us in! The jungle smells and sounds, the vistas as we rose into the hill country, the sunset. We found a couple of cheap rooms in Dalhousie, the base of Adams' Peak, and laid down, 3 to a bed, for an hour. Got up and started climbing the first of literally thousands of steps around 2.30am. Stairway to heaven, flanked by little lights, we saw the path twist and rise above us into the stars. We reached the top with shaky legs and winded pipes around 5am. People of every age were climbing. Grandmothers and grandfathers, barefeet, flipflops, trekkers with gear, some slow, some fast, but all committed to making it. Mostly Sri Lankans, though a fair amount of tourists too. About halfway up, we were blessed by a monk who put a red thread bracelet around our wrists.
It was still dark when we reached the top, and COLD---hat and mittens cold. At 5.30 we began to see the horizon, and where the sun would come up. As the light continued to rise and spread, we saw that we were above the clouds, and then peaks began appearing between the clouds in the distance. We were a few hundred people gathered at the top. Everyone who had been seated stood, as if on queue, and in reverence. An unforgettable experience, watching the day wake up~
A few days ago, I drove with Kristin to the airport. We sat side by side in the van and held red braceleted hands. Pointing with her free hand to our red threads, “It feels good to be blessed,” she said~
Amen to that…