Refuge Hike

Last Sunday we hiked through the fog and rain to the Astraka Mountain Refuge. It was the first time that I experienced this other side of Papingo. Usually we stay in the village and feel the sunshine, but this hike brought us up through the clouds and into stormier weather. Maybe the change of weather was the mountains reminding us just how powerful they are?

The hike was also a silent one. I had been apprehensive about both the weather and my own ability to shut my trap, but a few stretches into the climb and I found my groove. I appreciated the silence. It’s not often that I’m alone with my thoughts in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I even played games with myself as I leapt over mud puddles and treaded slippery rocks. I pretended that the clouds moving up the mountain were chasing me! But those clouds were one of the most beautiful parts of the walk. They were perfectly wispy and full and surreal. At some points, I could see over them. So cool.
When we finally made it to the refuge I think most of us were glad to be out of the rain, but we were welcomed by intense winds! As I slept that night, I could hear the wind howling past my window at the refuge. In the morning, the winds were so harsh that we were all forced to return to Papingo rather than summit the mountain peaks of climb to the Dragon Lakes. But the walk back down provided some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. 20292876_10155080203669775_6871221569404148160_n

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