“Climbing is really great, we all love climbing. But what’s interesting to me is what happens in my head or in my life because of it. Ultimately, I think climbing is a vehicle for exploration – of the world, of the self.”
― Steph Davis
I started hiking/trekking around four months ago after much persistence from a friend. I never did these things, I have done short treks to see the fall colours with family, walked around lakes and parks but never hills and mountains. I lived in the midwest for many many years which was almost flat. For our holidays we usually went to museums and local eateries. Trekking was too much of physical work and not for me.
I started an MA this year and there we talked about reflecting about ‘oneself’, and do things we usually don’t do. We had electives to do and I wondered if I could put this under an elective 🙂 (I don’t think I can ). I sometimes wonder, if it is my ‘midlife crisis’, wanting to do things I had never done before, before it is too late. This is better and cheaper than buying a sports car, I suppose.
After the first trek it really got me motivated. It is almost like a drug, you can get addicted to it. However difficult the trek was and however tired and achy you are, at the end of it, you are thinking of the next trek. It is also about the company. Going with friends, encouraging each other on, giving a helping hand, laughing at the atrocious messages written on the rocks by ‘wanna be lovers’; that’s what keeps us going.
Yesterday, we went to Makalidurga hills which is close to Doddaballapura. There are some overgrown trails and arrows drawn by people. As we go up, we have to look out for the arrows. Many times, we had no idea which way to go but we finally reached the top to see the fort walls. On the top, there is a small shiva temple and deities climb the hill to get there. All the way up, the views were beautiful. There is a huge lake in the shape of South America. I think another high about trekking is to be one with nature. You can listen to the ‘quiet’. You feel tiny compared to the magnitude of nature around you.
“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” ― Ed Viesturs, No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks
As we descended, the sun started shining and it started getting hotter, the boulders around us was emitting heat. We stopped in the shade and had breakfast which we took with us. We had poha (flattened rice) with chutney, boiled eggs (eggs had never tasted better) with salt and pepper, khakra, bread and butter, banana bread and granola bars (recipe in previous blog posts). As we went down the sun beat on us harder and it got more difficult. We lost our way a bit but then found the arrows. The above quote is so apt, getting down is mandatory. Though at one time when we were resting, I was looking at the beauty of nature (and getting internet connection) was wondering if I could just sit there.
This was a long, strenuous trek but well worth it. Two of our group members Nandita and Azmee, have founded DreamDestinations -Aznan, where they customise vacations for women and they specialize in trekking.