Traveling alone in Sri Lanka was not always easy. A few of my impressions I shared already in my post Sri Lanka_Visiting versus Meeting. The first two weeks after my arrival in Sri Lanka I spend in the southern part. Enjoying beaches, early morning yoga in a little garden, reading, writing my diary and meeting with fellow travelers.
I soaked up the sun and felt the warm sunbeams nourishing me. But I also felt the heat was somehow numbing my mind. Feeling lazy and not very motivated to do anything but lying in the shade or in a hammock. For my personal system the heat was not very supportive in terms of thinking, meditating or progressing on a mental and spiritual plane. A deep urge rose to move on to the inland, be surrounded by nature, mountains and especially be in a climate where my system will operate in a smooth way.
I had a vague idea about my destinations in Sri Lanka. But I did not plan everything in advance. Adam’s Peak, also called Sri Pada, somehow emerged from all the recommendations that I received to be a place to go. With an elevation of 2.243m Sri Pada (from Sanskrit which means “the holy foot”) is known as a sacred place of pilgrimage where every Buddhist should go once in a lifetime. Stories tell that on top of the mountain is a footprint of either Adam, Buddha or Shiva. I felt attracted to that mystical mountain but I was at the same time convinced I could not, should not, would not climb Adam’s Peak by myself.
I boarded the train from Nuwara-Eliya/Nanu Oya to Kandy. Lucky me I was able to book a seat in the second class. Rare but possible. As the train rides in Sri Lanka are one of the most exciting and popular attractions. Physically I was sitting on the train on my way to Kandy but mentally still climbing Adam’s Peak. Why does Adam’s Peak appear permanently everywhere? In my thoughts, on the horizon, during conversations with other travelers. And why was I blocked by the thought of not going there by myself? Fear? Laziness? Maybe this was the thing I should do. Walk this path alone.
Alone but not lonely
Trusting my inner call and believing that everything will be arranged I spontaneously got off the train in Hatton, rescheduled my further bookings, took a bus to Maskeliya and decided to hike up Adam’s Peak the next morning. A blood rush was flooding my body and a feeling of happiness and excitement filled my heart.
Being so flexible and spontaneous felt quite new to me. As I usually stick to the plans that I make. I found a wonderful accommodation in Maskeliya where I could see Sri Pada while I was doing yoga on the terrace. After a little stroll through Maskeliya I went to bed early to get some rest before the climb. 00:30AM my alarm rang. I got up, got ready and jumped on the tuk tuk at 01:00AM. To arrive before sunrise it is recommended to start between 01:30AM and 02:30AM in order to climb the over 5.000 steps up to Sri Pada. It was pitch-black when I started climbing step after step. Luckily some lights and the little tea stalls every few meters where guiding the way up to the top. Physically and mentally this climb was pushing and challenging me. At 04:30AM I almost reached the top. The sun was supposed to rise at around 05:30AM. To stay warm I grabbed a tea and gave my legs a rest. The last bit up to the top was challenging but every step was worth it. I entered the small temple on top of Sri Pada and payed my obeisance to the holy footprint. And send my prayers up to the sky. 05:30AM the sun started rising and spreading her beauty all over the landscape. Bringing light to the world. Singing the song of a new day. On my mind one thought kept on appearing: “Why did I made this experience so dependent on whether I can find someone to climb Adam’s Peak with or not? If I would act like this throughout my whole life what would I miss out on?”. I came to the conclusion that it is about taking responsibility. For my own life, for being happy and content. Whatever definition of happiness and contentment you have in your life.
Take responsibility for it.
It is in your hands.