[VIDEO ON WAY IN CAR]
[PHOTO OF THE CLIMB]
The journey to Adams Peak took us through the Hill Country regions with ever steeper paths and winding bends cut into the sides of the mountains. Occasionally my heart was in my mouth when we got a little too close to the edge and all I can see was what looked like an infinite drop into the valleys below. The scenery was breathtaking and the 5 ½ hour journey once again passed quickly without a moment of being bored.
- THE 'SLIGHTLY CHILLED GUEST HOUSE', ADAMS PEAK
I was staying at the ‘Slightly Chilled’ Guest House at the foot of Adams Peak. I got chatting to quite a few people staying there with the same intentions as myself, to see the New Year in from the summit. Again it was great to learn how and why other people ended up doing the same thing as me.
I took the advice to get some sleep before the climb and set off about 2am so I will be able to reach the top to see the sun rise. So technically I was asleep for New Year here in Sri Lanka but I’m still on UK time which means I’ll be seeing the new year in as the sun is coming up.
[VIDEO AT START OIF CLIMB]
- A FEW LIGHTS SHOW THE WAY TO THE PEAK
The climb was bloody hard and nothing like I expected. It was a fascinating experience, passing pilgrims singing religious songs, families and the odd tourist with the same intentions as myself. Everyone I met along the way were so friendly, there were many happy new year wishes shared on the way up and on the way down.
[VIDEO PILGRIMS SINGING]
So after the 5247 steps (I’m not sure quite how they count the boulders, rocks and paths as steps) I reached the summit. By then I was so hot and tired and the cold temperature and winds at the top were refreshing - for a while. Then it got pretty cold and I put a few layers of cloths on ready to sit it out, waiting for the sun to rise on 2009.
- PILGRIMS SHELTERING AND WAITING FOR THE SUNRISE
It was quite a surreal experience wondering around the temple at the top. The pilgrims from all religions come to see the ‘footprint’ at the top of the peak. Its said to be the footprint of Buda, Adam (Adam and Eve) or whoever else is your religion – not sure who is right? There were hundreds of people waiting at the top, huddled so tightly together in small rooms. There were also groups of people huddled around fires at the top, as well as people just standing about waiting. Everyone up there was very friendly; I wasn’t long between new conversations being started. There are so many interesting stories to be heard and I listened to a fair few.
After I worked out where the east was I looked for a good spot and there was nowhere too great, in the end I climbed around a fence and got onto a ledge at the front of the temple overlooking the valleys and had the perfect view ready for the sunrise. I was seriously lucky to get this spot, away from the hundreds of other people, but then you do make your own luck!
[VIDEO AT TOP]
well I don’t need to say too much about the sunrise its self, only that it was an experience I don’t think I will forget any time soon and I don’t think there is a better way to see the new year in.
I made a fairly rapid descent back down, a lot easier that going up and a good opportunity to get a little exercise in after eating curry 24/7! As soon as I got back I got some sleep and was ready to set off for Nuwara Eliya, the hill country and the tea plantations.