The alarm went off at 12.15am – ouch! It was hardly the next day and just an hour an a half later than we went to bed. Prepped and ready to go we made our way to the meeting point. We looked like we took our hiking very seriously in our hiking trousers, walking boots and backpacks, in comparison there were some people in plimsoles and short shorts, we even joked with them about all the creepy crawlies!
We meet our leader, a super energetic man called David. He seemed nice if not a little OTT for 1 o’clock in the morning. There was about 20 of us in total and we set off for our hike into the forest armed with a bamboo walking kane.
The first 10 minutes were fine but it was made instantly apparent that this wasn’t going to be an easy hike. After 10 minutes david stopped us all to explain how they hike was going to pan out. He borrowed a walking kane to indicate the level incline throughout the hike.
We hiked on and it was fine, that was until he stopped everyone and explained that he had an animal he wanted to show us! An animal called an arachnid. OH SHIT OH SHIT BEN SCREAMED causing a scene. The rest of the group happily took it in turns to look at this EVIL looking spider about the size of his hand. Ben lost his head when we came near him believing david was going to put it on him. He really was NOT a happy.
10% at 45 degrees, followed by another 10% at 70%… finishing off with the last 15% at 85%. Surely not I thought to myself? That’s practically vertical.
About an hour after leaving base the incline of the hike got a lot harder than I thought and I really started to doubt myself of my abilities. I’m not an unfit person I thought this was going to be relatively easy but not was I wrong. Having a chest infection I was finding it difficult to catch my breath but we persevered and trooped on.
David explained that due to the temperate drop we needed to keep moving, that and for the fact we wanted to reach the top for sunrise. This meant that our ‘breaks’ consisted of around a 2 minute break. Barely enough for us to catch my breath.
One break he told us all to turn off our head torches so we could feel the surroundings around us. He told us to put our hand in front of our eyes… incredibly it was SO dark in the jungle we couldn’t even see our hand in front of us touching our noses?!
We hiked on for around 1 and a half 2 hours before the first trickle of rain came through the trees above us. Quickly yet not quick enough we chucked our rail jackets over our heads and continued. I may mock ben but I’m so grateful for him and his overly prepped ways. There were people shivering in their vests, meanwhile we were covered head to toe.
Regardless of this, the rain was like nothing I have ever seen in my life. It was absolutely INSANE. No amount of prep could have sheltered us from this rain. David asked the group if we were happy to continue or if we wanted to turnaround. We all agreed to continue.
After a further 3/4 the rain was showing zero signs of stopping and david pulled us to a halt and decided to call the hike off. We were 65% of our way up the mountain and 3 hours into the hike so it was disappointing to say the least knowing that there was going to be no sunrise at the end of it. However I can’t disagree that david made the right decision. It was so dangerous being on a near vertical mountain with the rain coming down as it did.
Turning around we made our decent which took around 1 hour 45. We grew more and more agitated and tired as we made our way down the mountain.
I have never been so thankful for the flat terrain than I was at 6.30am. We made our way back to the beach and caught the very end of the sunrise – at least we saw something I guess!
At least we could go to bed now we were back down…