I have only hiked twice in my life. Both occasions were this year. You’d think the memory of the first hike would have been fresh enough to deter me from making any such attempts ever again. And there’s also that disappointment of glorious views promised that don’t materialize. Don’t mention the cold, or the treacherous path, or extreme heat. Sigh!
So I’m in Nepal, it’s world famous for outdoor activities and I thought let me add hiking to my to-do list. After hiking about 16 km at a lovely pace, I will admit that most of the hike was pleasant since my friend and I had hired our own guide, so no group to keep up to; we made it in about five hours to the lovely Hotel View Point in Nagarkot, which was perched at what seemed like the edge of the earth. Our stay was lovely, the meals were good enough, and for once in Nepal I had a proper hot shower. Then morning came and I was up by 5 am hoping to see the sunrise over the Himalayas; spectacular views had been promised. Of course I do not hold it against them that mist came out of nowhere during the night. But they promised!
My second time was just recently, and right here on my backyard. I took on the Drakensberg with friends. I blame myself for not reading the itinerary properly, it stated 18 km. It was about that, and freezing like hell. My hands were blue for the most time at the top. And on the pitch (to the trip) I saw a ladder, but never did I imagine we’d actually need to climb the damn thing. Needless to say I got a shock of my life. With my right leg still feeling like it’s a prosthetic 3 days after the hike, I understand my impulse to denounce ever hiking again and calling it an utterly pointless exercise to go up a mountain only to come down again. However the memory of certain things like the company of good friends, or making new friends, the short rest at the top, and some beautiful views you see on the way to the top, I can see why I might have a case of selective amnesia again in future and end up trekking up some lonely mountain.