Extreme hiking

The third morning we were expecting to go rock climbing, but found out that it was actually “mountain climbing” which is just a longer, more intense hike. At first it was the same as the first day, but then we left the main trails and followed one that became very steep very quickly. The terrain became increasingly uneven, too, which at first I loved. I had an image of myself hiking boldly through an Indian jungle, fending off wild animals, but it disappeared very quickly when I needed a break and the guides didn’t seem tired at all. That was definitely the best hike we went on, though. Mostly because of views like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had an informal list of Animals To See in India. Of course, I wanted to see elephants (which I found) and tigers (which I didn’t), but I also wanted to see other animals like hornbills, bats, and spotted deer. This hike helped me get most of them. By the end of the trip I was able to check off lion-tailed monkeys, hornbills, samba deer, spotted deer, peacock, and elephants. Whenever our guides would stop whenever they heard or saw something, and then usually make us quickly backtrack, which of course always made me think we were running away from a tiger or an angry bear. It was never that serious. One time, Massie had to scare off a sloth bear. Oh, and on the way back, Mutu saw a group of elephants heading up the trail towards us. We headed back up and I started getting a little worried when he asked me if I was any good at climbing trees, because I might need to. We never actually came that close to the elephants, but we could see the whole family through the trees. I love finding animals in the wild, but this time, I was just hoping one of the adults wouldn’t notice us and charge.

Probably one of the coolest things we saw was a stone wall that used to surround a tribal hut. I thought it would’ve been built decades ago, but Mutu said it was only 25-30 years old. That’s Mutu, fyi.

 

I had my moment of feeling like a serious hiker when we came to this stone gorge.

Mutu thought we should repel down the side on a creeper vine. We actually were able to cross it very easily further uphill, but it would’ve been cool story. The last time we stopped for a break, I was ready to just take a nap right there, but we had to keep going. You know you’re almost there when you see electric fences. It was definitely one of the best treks/hikes I’ve ever been on, but I was so happy to finally get back to Glen View and take a nap in the hammock.