Saturday, August 4, 2012

We climbed a mountain yesterday

Like most days on this island, we spent the morning breakfasting, lazing around, going down to the private beach and then lunching.  In the cooler hours, we have been trying to plan little trips around the island.  Last night we decided to climb a mountain, the highest point on this island for a great panoramic view. We climbed Montokuc (moan toe kootz). We took a lot of fabulous photos, but it's difficult to show them while they reside on my son's laptop.  I'll create a slideshow when we get back from our trip.  The link above shows photos others have taken on Montokuc and it really does look that amazing.

We could have walked from where we are staying to the mountain, but that would have added another 4 miles to the walk which is asking a bit much of our 7 year old. As it was, it was 4.5 miles with half of it climbing up the mountain, zigzagging along. So, one of the people at the house took us across the lake in their fishing boat to the nearest dock.  That was about a mile walk from the mountain. Then it was another mile or a bit more winding up the mountain side.  First it was a wide gravel road for walkers and bicyclists.  Then the remaining .4 mile was a path crisscrossing up to the summit.

The entire walk, from the beginning, our 7 year old was saying he was exhausted (we knew he wasn't) then he kept saying he didn't want to go to the top as it was too scary.  We weren't sure how the last bit of the climb would be. The locals here said it was quite a trek and a little difficult, but I saw that it was an easy climb going up slowly as it wound through the woods. A typical footpath we had been walking elsewhere with no problem.  The choice was either to stay at the bottom with Henry while my husband and older son went up to take photos and hope ther was enough daylight for me to go up too when we switched places, or we all go up. We all went up.

Then my youngest started to get excited about going to the top. We were on an adventure. He walked behind me the entire way up while holding my arm/hand I had behind my back with my husband right behind him.  On then last few feet was stepping over bare rock (tree line stopped) and it was still carefully laid out for safety.  At the top, there're was a ranger's hut with a bench for him to sit on and look around.

We got there just before sunset, so the views were spectacular, but that also meant we couldn't lolligag. We had to make our way back down.  The first part he went ahead of me with holding my hand, the bottom half, he was more sure of himself and walked without holding my hand.  When we got to the gravel road, I had to hold his hand again just to speed him up as now he ally was tired.  It was another 2 miles of waing to meet the boat.  We met the boat Justin time and got back just as dinner was being served. Perfect timing.

This is something I wouldn't have been able to do 18 months ago. Or maybe I could have done it, but would have been exhausted. Most likely, I would have decided not to climb to the summit and would have volunteered to stay down with the youngest, robbing us both of the breathtaking views. But now?  I wasn,t winded or tired.  I could have gone up and down that path 2 more times easily.  This was at the end of the day, after. Couple hours of swimming where I also swam about a half kilometer taking in the views underwater. I didn't fall into bed exhausted either. I felt great, like I finally had a chance to stretch my legs.

While we were heading to the mountain, we met a grandmother and grandfather with their grandkids.  They had to have been in their mid 60’s, but they were fit, both of them.  I want that to be my husband and me.  I want us to be in good condition after our kids are grown so that we can take more adventurous vacations together - not lazy cruises or bus trips  that all we do is take motorized tours. I want to get out and enjoy it by going into it by foot. And with us being 35 and 38 when our youngest was born, it's going to be awhile until we are empty nesters (53 and 56 just when the youngest gets through high school)!

So, it was a good day. A very good day.

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