Packed On A Peak With Pilgrims

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Arriving at Delhouse in southern Sri Lanka, our plan was to hike to the top of Adam’s Peak. This is the site where Adam is meant to have been hurled from heaven and landed on earth. It is also believed to house a footprint of Buddha. It is an important pilgrimage site in Sri Lanka and attracts thousands of locals on the weekends.

We didn’t fully believe how many people were rumoured to tackle the track each weekend, so at 2 am we set off with high hopes of reaching the summit quickly. As we neared the beginning of the trail a steady flow of people were coming down from the peak. We started our 5000 steps to the top and within an hour and a half were within half a kilometer of our goal.

As we turned a corner, we were met face to face with a massive line packed with pilgrims. People waited patiently for their chance to make the summit. After waiting for over an hour in line, light was beginning to creep into the sky. We knew that if we didn’t move fast we wouldn’t make it to the top on time for sunrise. So, with many sorrys and avoiding eye contact, we hopped the railing and ran to the top. We were able to wade through the crowds and find a perch overlooking the valleys and mountains below.

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The sun came up with an explosion of colour throughout. In every direction it played a different trick on the textures of the early morning sky. We listened to bells, horns and drums pound out prayers from Adam’s Peak and looked over the world.

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