Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Monastery Part 1

The English guy Tom and I finally got to the monastery, albeit a kind of roundabout way. We left much earlier this time rather than waiting until the waning hours of daylight. Wanting to take a different path, we asked about it and were given another way of getting there. We climbed and climbed a hill along a narrow path that looked more suited for goats than humans, but as we got further along, the path grew closer and closer to the cliffside until we were staring straight down at certain death if we were to slip, and it was muddy.

Not in the mood for death, we chose to climb up the hillside to see if we could find another safer path higher up. Perhaps we had just missed a turn somewhere, we thought, and the real path was up a bit. After all, why would our host send us on such a dangerous trail?

But there was no higher path. We had three options: to follow the cliffside path and hope we didn't slip in the mud, to turn around and start again on the path we had taken on the previous night trip, or to climb the hill up to the summit (in some parts crawling was a better word than climbing) and join the path we had used before. Given that we had already been walking for a half hour, we didn't want to turn around and start again, which would have wasted an hour of precious daylight, so we chose the hill route, which was pretty fun. Since the hillside was so muddy, we had to make use of some of the trees to ease our ascent.

We finally reached a rock formation near the summit that Tom had no problem climbing, as he is quite tall. I, on the other hand, could not possibly scale the thing with my short legs. I stood there for a few minutes wondering how I was going to get up there, looking around at my limited options. I spotted a rock which had broken from the formation, disappeared for a moment, and returned with it, placing it at the base of the formation, which gave me just enough extra height to make it up the rocks.

From there, we found our path and made it to the monastery with no problems getting there...

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