Out the back of the compound, through about a kilometer of sugar cane lies a small mountain range. The first goal is K1, then K2 and finally the furthest peak locally referred to as Everest.
It can be seen below in the background.
Yesterday arvo i set out with two friends to concur my first hike, K1. It is generally a two hour return hike which is a bit of a rock climb at the end, revealing an amazing view of all the surrounding jungle.
We trekked through the cane with ease, hopped across the creek, past a little village and headed up the ridge. About 20 minutes into the hike there was an almighty lightening strike and a clap of thunder that shook my bones and caused me to quickly duck down to check that my shoelaces were tied. ;) They of course were, so we continued on. Then the rain started, nothing much, a bit of a spit. We had the discussion of trekking on or turning back. Being my first hike and feeling like i had something to prove, i voted to go on, as a little rain wasn't going to stop me reaching the top. A lightening strike might, but not the rain! So we continued on and the rain got a little heavier. Another strike and an almighty crash again sent me to me knees. Walking up an exposed ridge was not really the most sensible thing to be doing in a lightening storm, so we sensibly decided after the next strike we'd run for the first shoulder, down the other side and shelter for a minute or two?!
P, the mountain goat tour guide set off first, easily bounding up the steep slippery track. I went next, slipping and sliding and fumbling my way up until, C, who was behind me yelled "snake". I packed my dacks, realising i just stepped over it, and leaped ahead a few bounds leaving C to deal with the slithery creature on her own. By this stage P was over the shoulder and sheltering the grass. The snake was not so keen to move on, but eventually did and we too headed for shelter. This was shelter.......
The side of this ridge drops VERY steeply down into the valley. So whilst hiding behind a blade of grass, being pelted by the now very heavy rain, we stupidly discussed how dangerous our predicament was. Landslide, earthquake, lightening strike, flash floods, snake bites. None of which were out of the realm of possibility. P was very surprised at the snake, in his 20 years of hiking these ridges he has never seen one. Lucky me, my first trip i nearly stood on one.
Given our predicament, we decided that it was a good time to head back.
(Just to prove i was there! :p)
So we headed down the track, which was now a small creek. We slipped and slid our way down, as we approached the small village at the bottom of the hill, i became apparent that the small creek was now a torrent of water and certainly could not cross where we had skipped across only an hour before.
As we approached the river a lady came running from her house, very concerned we were going to try and cross the river. "No can cross" she kept yelling.
Her husband came down from tending to his sweet potato and offered to show us the only route across the river now. We gladly followed him, through his field, across his yard to where the river splits into 3, making it more easily passable. Kids came running from everywhere to see and laugh at the white people stuck on this side of the creek. The water was raging, and yet children about 10 years old were rolling and playing in the rapids. The kids and adults alike all wanted to help us. They showed us where to cross, held our hand and ensured we weren't washed away. The first crossing was ankle deep but running fast, you had to watch your footing.
The second one was knee deep and required a little assistance. As long as you walked with the current a little it wasn't too bad.
The third one wasn't wide but was waist deep and we really needed a bit of help to get across this one.
Here are our rescue crew this side of the third crossing. They are standing on the edge of what was a peanut crop only moments earlier.
So we crossed the creeks and finally returned home, right on dark. We were drenched, tired but also pleased with the adventure we had. I only made it half way up to the top, so i am hoping to tackle this again in the next few weeks. P1 is not going to beat me! I have to conquer K1, K2 and Everest before i am allowed to tag along on a shaggy ridge hike, a famous war site, home of many world war two battles located just down the road.