My First Hiking Experience

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On Saturday, the 9th of November, I went for my first hike and it was total HELL. But, I found a sweet haven I never thought of. Here is a rundown of how it all went.

My friend had told me on Friday about her hiking plans organized by Paulendo Adventures. They would be hiking the beautiful Chiradzulu mountain, which I have only marveled at when passing through. Not wanting to spend my Saturday indoors, I decided to go.

A view of the beautiful Chiradzulu Mountain

As much as what fueled me to go was the plans made by my friends, I also was craving to have the hiking experience that a few of my friends talk highly of. Secondly, I remembered another friend of mine who had once taken me for a road trip to Phalombe, and as we were passing by Chiradzulu, he talked of how beautiful it would be to be at the peak of the mountain and see Blantyre from that angle. This was the perfect opportunity to see all that and more.

At about 0630hrs, I was picked up by the team and we set off driving to Chiradzulu to begin the adventure. During this time, I made sure to mentally prepare myself of what was coming. The most important thing I told myself was

No matter the pain, you have to see the peak of the mountain or you never hiked at all.

And those words were what pushed me throughout the day.

The whole team before the hike begun

At 0730hrs, the hiking begun. All of us were filled with excitement, looking forward to seeing the city as the birds saw it. We were still filled with energy, carrying our bags like pros and up we went.

40 minutes into the hike and the team had spread. Others were so ahead while other slowed and took every steep hill slowly so as to not burn up the energy.

Half way through the hike and I could feel my muscles in both my legs fired up. They would scream

STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

but I would push on, this time, taking short steps to make sure I did not push them too hard.

Half way through the hike

Many a time during the experience, I wanted to just stop. Many a time, my other half of the brain would tell me to just sit down by son shed and take a nap. Many a time, I felt like my body was just going to give up and not want to move anymore. But during most of these times, I had friends who told me to push on, who encouraged me not to give up. The Paulendo Adventures team would come with words of courage that made me go on.

The mountain has two major peaks, and we were set to reach both of them. The first peak was a huddle of stones we had to climb in order to reach at the top. And although I have fear for heights and edges, I tried to push my anxiety aside to witness one of the best views ever.

Smiles after we reached the first peak
The first peak
A view of Chiradzulu District Hospital from atop
Landing on the first peak

I had never seen such beauty and appreciated how God created the earth. Something about what I saw from the first peak made me fueled for the second part of the hike. So after minutes of rest, we descended the first peak and started off the second.

This is how it got tricky. When ascending to the first peak, all that we went through was steep hills and a few wetlands due to the streams. However, going to the second meant having to pass through these

In the picture, they look scattered, but that wasn’t the case. They were closer and ready to lay damage. I quickly realized why wearing cargo shorts was probably not the wisest ideas. But with new found energy, we walked through these. I ended up with scratches on my legs and a snap bloody wound. But, good things are always hard to find isn’t it?

As we reached the second peak

Why was it important to reach the second peak? Every mountain has a pillar that explains how high the mountain is etc. And we wanted that.

The best part about reaching the second peak was dancing to Skankin’ Sweet by Chronixx. The most important part was being able to share a philosophical moment with the girls

If I complained about the ascend, I was still sleepy, because the descend is where am the pain is felt.

When descending, I felt like my legs we’re slowly getting in my stomach. I was so wobbly. I could feel my body shake so badly. The only motivation I had was the picture of my bed that made itself available in my head. I also laughed a lot during the descend, thanks to Bright.

Bright

Overall, it was mind blowing. Painful, but sweet pain that I didn’t think I would enjoy.

What I Learned?

I quickly figured that I could relate the experience with life itself. I have never battled with myself as I did during the hike. I felt like I was testing my limits, questioning how far I would go before I broke down and gave up. I would feel pains in places I never thought I would. My muscle would cramp and loosen up. And as I was having the talk with Tionge and Sheena, we got to thinking,

Isn’t that how life is? In order to achieve things, you go through painful moments that test your strengths and abilities and break you down to wanting to stop. It takes so much mind control and will power to push yourself and achieving.

I also learned that I was so unfit and needed to work on my fitness more.

The sad thing was seeing the mountain so bare and naked. The mountain is fully stripped of any trees which explains the floods that happened in the district early this year.

To Paulendo Adventures

Thank you so much for allowing me to have adventure. To the team, thank you for the end courage to push on both physically and mentally. Thank you for the laughter and a well weekend spent.

Conclusion

Would I hike again? Hell yes!! I felt so liberated and that was such an amazing feeling.

X.O

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