Friday, August 25, 2017

Climbing a mountain in the dark

Last week we climbed a mountain, in the dark.
Prophet Elias, the peak of the Taygetos Mountain range.

2,407 metres.
The highest mountain in the Peloponnese.

13.00, we were sitting in our kitchen, drinking the last dregs of our morning coffee.
Talking about nothing, thinking lazily about having a shower.

15.00, we were at the office of Kalamata’s Hiking Club,
where we impulsively agreed to a hike, in the dark.

18.00, we were in the car, rolling up the mountain roads.
Staring at cows, singing our hearts out to terrible party songs.

23.00, we were in the forest.
Hunting shooting stars and preparing to snooze in our tent.

02.30 am, we were awake.
Our sleepy heads wrapped in gleaming headtorches,
we began our ascent.

Walking in a line, like an army troupe.
We wound our way along the paths, up and around the black masses.
We were not getting higher, just following in the darkness.

04.00am, we found the wind.
It shook us and chilled us.
Forced us to crawl like animals on the ground.

05.00am, we began to see the top.
The mountain played with us, moving stones, changing the route again and again.

06.00am, we saw it,
a small layer of glorious orange spread across the sky
and all felt impossible.

07.30, our feet and hands scrambled up.
We stared at the glorious scene ringing around us.
Goats, pyramid and sea.
Bitterly cold, we huddled in coats and stuffed snacks in our mouths.
We arrived.

Photos courtesy of Kalamata Hiking Club, Ορειβατικός Καλαμάτας

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