Steven, the volunteer from Australia and I left our camp at 2 am. I had decided that I’d sleep on the hour long drive but I couldn’t. The hills, the sky, the clouds; they all were all so beautiful! I remember feeling so excited as I gazed out of the car window at the bright full moon. I’d never seen a prettier sky.
Towards the end of our drive, thick fog descended upon us. We couldn’t see the road ahead of us, and our hearts felt a little heavy. We had been so excited and what if the weather became worse? It began to drizzle but didn’t last long. We reached the base of the mountain and met our guide, Kadak. There were about eighty other tourists there, everyone eager and excited to greet the sun at the top of the volcano in another two hours.
Kadak and I
At 4 a.m. we started our trek. We used the torches that Kadak had given us, because the moon was completely hidden. The path started out easy and got steeper as dawn approached. The frequency of our breaks increased with the inclination of the slope and by the time we reached the lava stones, we had to stop every 100 steps (I counted).
After two hours of practically pulling me up the mountain (though I leave this detail out when telling the story to my family and friends), Kadak announced we had reached the top of the volcano. We joined the others to sit on the cliff and stare out into the….well, fog.
The view from the cliff
Us-tired and staring out into the fog
After two hours of huffing and puffing and a hundred water breaks, we were greeted by fog. It was disappointing and everyone was rather quiet. We took some photographs of ourselves and continued to stare out into the nothingness.
Until, suddenly, a little spot in the sky turned orange. The fog was clearing up. I cannot describe how wonderful that moment was. There was a chorus of “wow” from the audience as we saw a beautiful sunrise appear before us.
And then disappear.
The fog kept shifting, giving us glimpses of the beautiful landscape. There was the sun and the clouds, mountains and a lake. All before us…every now and then. “Someone play the Lion King song!,” exclaimed a tourist and everyone laughed.
It dawned upon me that, in that moment, we all were part of something wonderful, together. We had all hiked up a volcano and had all been greeted by fog. And we all had witnessed a sunrise more beautiful than ever, because we hadn’t expected it.
The top of the volcano was so peaceful, in spite of the many people, that I could have sat there all day. Kadak then lead us to the crater of the volcano we were on, which was steaming away. There was a lot of monkeys around, much to the amusement of everyone (I didn’t think they were cute and stayed well away). At a steaming rock, I caught a local guide tell a lady to put her face closer if she wanted to look five years younger. “It’s like a facial madam,” he joked.
I laughed. I was in such good spirits! The sun was out by now and the trek down the mountain gave us a beautiful view (maybe that’s why I fell two times, I really couldn’t get myself to look away from the stunning landscape and to the steep path)
The view on our way down pt.1
The view on our way down pt.2
The view on our way down pt.3
We reached home by 10 am. It was a great start to the rest of the day!