Worst Hiking Experience: A Memoir

Fakhri Puja Pratama180410120139

One sunny day, my friend invited me to take this short trip for like 2 or 3 days. I was aware that we would be climbing a mountain. Since I was bored and looking for something to do, without a second thought I accept the invitation. This is not the first time I went to this mountain, so I know exactly what to prepare. I packed my things like extra clothing, first-aid-kits with some medicines, foods, sunglasses, a map of the route, a compass, flash lights, cameras, tripod, extra batteries, matches, knives, woolen socks, jackets, and a boots.

Our journey starts at 8 AM. There are several routes available for us to take, we took the longest one because the trekking route was full of natural beauties and gifts such as many rivers, various types of plants, birds and animals, and so on. We walked very slowly enjoying whatever we saw on the way. We took many photographs of those things. We taken a detour on purpose because we wanted to go to a higher ground to took some shots of the scenery from above. When we reached the high ground like we wanted, we stayed there for a while to take some picture and rest. After a while we continue our walk, my friend have an idea to take a different route because he said “we could find another better spot to take some photos”. It sounds stupid but I agree with him. We ended up lost in the middle of nowhere, luckily we found a river so we just have to follow the river that would take us to the campsite. Because of that we reached the camp site around1 PM. After hours of walk, we wanted to have something as we felt hungry. We chose grassland near the river and set our tent. Then, we set a fire near the tents and started to prepare our meal. As our meal was ready, we had it. We felt the meal was tastiest.

Around 2 PM we got bored in the camp site, so we decided to walk around hoping finds a good spot to take a picture and we also have to find firewood to fuel our fire for the night. After a while, we can not found any good spot, so my friend and I agreed to go to the top of the mountain. Before we hike to the top, we came back to the camp site. We prepared everything just in case there would be raining, we do not want our bags get wet and also we covered the firewood from before. It was cloudy when we start our hike to the top of the mountain, suddenly in the middle of the hike the sun comes out from the cloud. My legs and arms were shaking, sweat was tripping down my face. Every step felt like there is a needle sinking into my legs. I had three blisters on each foot. It was boiling hot, I felt that my head are being cooked up. I was never felt that hot in my life. Then I realized I forgot my hat, I touched my head it was warm, but I could not do anything about it. My friend was already far in front of me screaming, laughing and cheering me on. I told him that I cannot go any faster because my calf got cramps, I do not know why but it turns out to be a really bad day for me. My friend looked at me and laughed.

I was making my way slowly up the mountain. I stepped on one rock to another, it went well for a while and then a rock slipped from under my boot and went tumbling down the mountain. I lost my balance and collapsed to the ground. Then I’m taking a break, trying to recover from the fall. After a while I felt ready to continue, I decided to increase the pace because I did not want to miss the “golden hour”. I was sure I was going make it no matter what. I looked up, my friend was already on the top, waving at me. The sun was behind him so I could barely see his face, but I could see a huge smile on his face. He was shouting something, but I could not hear it. I decided that the rest of the way up I will not stop to take any breaks. Because I could see the finish line, I decided to make a run for it. In the end my body was not listening to what my mind said before, I sunk to the ground just before I reached the top of the mountain. My lungs felt like they were about to explode, I think if there is someone on the bottom of the mountain, they could hear my heavy breathing. I reached for my water bottle, there was not enough for the trip down the mountain so I decided to save it for later. My throat was soar, I’m coughing like crazy. My lips were dried, It felt like I never had any drink from the beginning of the trek. It was too hot, the sun was shining in my eyes. I could barely see, I felt so tired, I just wanted go to sleep. My blisters were killing me, I thought if that is going to continue my toes will be bleeding. Everything I saw was blurry like the focus of the camera was broken. That was the moment I regretted not asking my friend for his extra hat. Then I sat down on the grass, for a moment I felt a cold breeze. It was like taking a sip of water after a week of not having any.

Finally I gained my strength back, then I stand up and surprised by the view that I see. I could not believe my eyes, I didn’t feel the pain of blisters or the dry throat. All of my attention was focused on the view. I was looking at the most amazing thing I had ever seen, you could see everything from this height. The wind was playing with my hair. I took a huge breath and then I looked up, the sky was the color of the sea on a sunny day. I looked down from a cliff there were giant clouds covering what was below like water on the ocean. The sun was so bright you could barely look at it. I looked back and there is my friend busy setting up the camera. At first I was disappointed because we cannot got the sunset photo but we came up with another plan, with this kind of view, we could make a great time-lapse of the clouds. After that we went back to the camp site preparing our dinner. The next morning before we got back, we took a walk around the camps site once again hoping to find another great shot in the morning.

Climbing mountains is not only about scenic views, majestic rainbows and a sea of clouds. Behind these Instagrammable photos are hardships, falls and struggles to reach the top. And while it’s true that the best view comes after the hardest climb, it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the journey in between.

Photo by: Instagram: @fakhripuja

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