here, there, everywhere

Hike to the Heavens

In Mystery Trip on September 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

As much as I should probably describe the incredible hike I was on today, I have to first tell how much I’m loving this hostel and how hard it’s going to be to leave.  I’ve temporarily left my table to write this post and am probably missing more impassioned discussion about Spanish politics, the Austrian medical student system, and surfing in Australia and Ireland.  One of the things I love most about traveling is the people I meet and this trip is beating most others before it.  I’ve seen pretty cool things and gone to amazing places in the past three days, but the people are beating it hands down.

Today I went for a hike, a different location than the three guys in my room who also went hiking for the day. We all got up around 5am and then went our separate ways to get to our destination.  I took a bus an hour outside the centre to meet up with the woman I met on the plane.  She was concerned that I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet and had packed one for me.  Then we went to her home where she tag-teamed the car with her husband and 13 year old daughter, she went inside and they took me to my starting point.  Imagine a 13 year old kid being told by her parents to accompany a total stranger up the hill to make sure I paid the right amount for entry, and then stay with me to do some of the hike.  She was amazing and although she decided she didn’t want to go too far with me, she toughed out a great bit and made my life extremely simple.  I wish I could have gone hiking for five hours, the scenery was spectacular and there’s something about seeing a goal and trying to get there, but I had to balance that with the fact I was with locals who could also give me an experience not too many tourists get to have.  When I came down two hours later, the daughter was waiting for me at the bottom to make sure I got to the right parking lot.  Her mom was waiting with water this time which I was dying for, it may have been around 30 degrees at the top and I was sweating like a fountain.  Then the two of them took me to a Korean restaurant for lunch and awesome discussion.  After that she took me back to the bus station to get into town and stuffed my bags with fresh dates and plums from a local farmer.  The daughter, who is shy to speak English, finally asked if we could have a picture together and then gave me a big hug as I got on the bus.  Really, how on earth do you thank people for that kind of hospitality?

This is my last night in the hostel and I’m kind of sad considering how fun it’s all been.  I wouldn’t mind staying a few more nights but Andres also leaves tomorrow, and the British guys will be off doing their own thing.  Some of the girls will also be heading out so I’m sure it’ll have that lonely, pathetic feeling you get when you’re finally alone after a fantastic time.  However, this city is not what I was expecting, I can’t find its soul and I’m ready to head out.  It’s time for more dirt and a rougher experience.  I’d definitely tell people to come and check it out, the history and sights are worth it.  But I want the less sterile so hopefully my next destination will satisfy that need.

Still trying to work around the censorship issue but it looks like it may be solved shortly.  Unfortunately I can’t post pictures at this point so some of the visual clues are absent but I’ll try and get them up once I’ve found a solution to my problem.  That is all from destination 1, more to come from the second one shortly.

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  1. Hi Alison! Sounds like your travels are off to a good start. Glad to hear you’ve met some friendly and hospitable folks along the way – I’ve only ever experienced that level of welcome traveling in Ireland, but since you say you got dates from a local farmer, you can’t be up there…maybe somewhere in north Africa? I look forward to your getting some photos on the blog to help us with our guessing! And I would have enjoyed pics of your hike.

  2. Hi Alison,

    I dreamt last night that you posted you were in Greece and I flew to meet you there! I know that’s not where you are, though. I am going to guess that you are in Vietnam. I hope you are well. It sounds like you are having an amazing time!

    Karen

  3. I think you might be in China…. possibly Beijing

  4. Am happy to know that you’re enjoying the first leg of your trip =) Can’t wait to read more!

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