Monday, October 24, 2011

The Uphill Walk

                                                         The Uphill Walk
 Has it ever happened to you that you see a place in the photos or you read about them, you just think - I have got to see that ? It happens with me all the time. I keep a mental note of it and make mental plans about how to go, when to go, etc. So, this time, I see this place and I read about this hike. It says 23 Km and 7-8 hours of walking. This will be a challenge. Can you do that? -  I ask myself. The answer came- I don’t know. And then another response – If you do not try, how would you know? I discussed my intentions with few of my friends and asked if anyone would like to join. But under the weight of 23 km, everyone backed out. So, one fine weekend, I packed my bags and just left.  

Its OK, if no one shares your passion in doing what you want to do. Ask yourself. If the answer ‘YES’ comes from within, then just do it. Even, if you are alone. Its OK, if there is doubt in the beginning. Have faith in the hope. Have faith in your attempt. Help will come along the way.

I am panting after a couple of hours of uphill walk. I sit on a rock and look around me. High Rocks and trees every where. A small stream is making a feeble noise as it cuts the rock on its downhill journey. I have a sip of water and a bar of chocolate. The map says, I am not even half way up my journey. I take a moment longer to gather my energy. Then I get up and consult the map one more and then head in the forward direction.

Starting is the difficult part. The resistance, mentally and physically is most in the beginning. Gut it out. Everyone gets tired, at some time or the other. How much, you can go forward after that, is what matters.

I have been walking for 5 hours now. The trail is fairly flat now. I have covered more than half, my map says. I am happy with myself. My legs are tired, but the euphoria of making it this far overshoots any tiredness. I see the beautiful countryside and mountains in the mist farther ahead. I lie on the grass and eat few more bars of chocolate. I take a long sip of water. But, then, a frown appears on my face, as I see the map, looking for the path ahead. I curse myself as I notice the mistake. I took a wrong turn some time back. This is not what I need now. I get up and trace back my steps. It takes an hour to come to the right track. I stop for a moment and take a long look at the wrong path I took before. I notice the reason for the mistake, a faded sign on the road. I  move on the right track.

Mistakes happen. Even if you concentrate hard and plan perfect, mistakes can happen. Wasting too much time and effort on pondering over it is another mistake. Learn why it happened and undo the mistake, while there is still time. Then, Move On.

I finally make it to the top. I marvel at the gorgeous landscape. High ridges of Alps to the right, a deep valley in front and greenery all around. This is what I had come to see.  I decide to sit and take all the beauty in before going down to the nearest railway station, 1 hour away. But, I hear a thunder. In no time, it starts to rain. I run for the cover and enter a small restaurant completely drenched and shivering. (But, I manage to save the camera from getting wet). It is getting dark and cold. Rain does not look like giving up soon. I am stuck. I need to do something. I ask someone for the shortest route to the nearest railway station. He is quite drunk, but I manage to make him understand. I need a ride downhill to the station. He asks me to wait. A few minutes later, a waitress comes. I have a coffee before leaving. She drops me to the station in her car. I thank her. And I thank her again. I catch the last train to Zurich. I make it back. With a tale to tell. An adventure to share.

Its OK, if you do not stay at the top long enough or you do not see what you wanted to see for long enough. The sweat in making it to the top was still worth it. Sometimes, Journey is the destination. Sometimes, Retreat is not an option. Sometimes, a bruised body is better than a bruised ego.

Who knows, you can get a ride from a beautiful girl to go home? :) 

P.S - These philosophies mentioned here are solely for me. Everyone has their own outlook about things and this is mine. I believe in it. I live by it. I stand by it.

P.P.S - I have been called nuts and crazy 6 times today. Which will make it almost a dozen counting the weekends.  Quoting a part of  what someone wise said - 'Its Better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring!'


  1. Lucky you :)
    beautiful place - i always love hiking :)
    well - adventures are part ov life :)

  2. This place looks mesmerizing man!
    In reference to the first para : I've been nursing ambitions to visit Kashmir since ages, but never happened. You're lucky!
    and haha, good luck with the girl part.

  3. Beautiful picture - somewhere south?

  4. Loved reading this.

    Outdoor adventure is also in my soul, lots of scars and a titanium plate the ultimate souvenir!

    You're not crazy, far from it, you're just doing something that is important to you. Someone once said to me 'why do you climb mountains every weekend when you have to turn around and come back down’. I replied with a slight twist to the famous words of George Mallory ‘because they are there.. and because I can'…

    Your story concluded with the statement of a true adventurer 'Its Better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring!'

    Thanks for sharing and keep enjoying the great outdoors.

    Paul Poetic Sauce

  5. The Uphill task, I would say...I enjoyed reading it Kunal...


  6. The picture looks so beautiful. There is something about nature. You can never get bored. You will always feel better. :)

    I have been on some lone escapes.. thought is not some solid trekking but I cherish them so dearly. Sometime a trip alone is the best that can happen.

    Wow.. and it rained! How nice.. it would have looked so brilliant!

    Enjoyed the post Kunal! Hope you have a good week ahead. :)

  7. I am little clumsy at typing and leave out some letters. Kindly excuse.

  8. nice trekking ...havent been trekking but running around wellington ( have covered all the areas as of now..) planning to cycle to most of the places from now on ...

  9. If you are crazy, then you definitely have good? company like me :) I so enjoyed reading this post, Kunal! Such a wonderful story and penned equally as well. I loved how your philosophies on life were appropriately woven throughout the story and the picture is perfect :)

    I used to go walking on a regular basis and would easily accomplish an un-interrupted 5-6 mile hike. One day I recall reaching my maximum and I was feeling so much euphoria and energy that I decided to go a bit further and I couldn't stop!

    I ended up walking 11 miles (17 km) and I was the one callng myself crazy :D Not just for the walking distance but for the fact that my spontaneity didn't include an extra supply of water and the weather was quite warm :) Not smart, on my part!

    Anyhow, I made it home safely without a handsome man to rescue me :( I'll never forget that day and my attitude echoed yours in the quotation because I do believe that it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring! Great closing line! :)

    P.S. ~ This brings to mind the story of the man who recently just completed his walk around the world! He was feeling depressed, went out for a walk and just kept going :D

    Sorry for writing a book ~ couldn't resist! :)

  10. The picture is so beautiful!!! I want to go there!

    Mistakes happen.. We have to move on. How true. But, it's not always easy to let go of the guilt, right?

    I love traveling. Exploring. The smell of forests.. I love the wild :)

    Beautiful post :)

  11. The photograph reminds me of Kodaikanal. There is a place and they have similar stairs. I am such a lazy bum and I have been meaning to run, walk or at least step out of the house, but I have not even opened the door. Kunal *bow down* to your spirit... :)

  12. here speaks a thinker and a philosospher..but most importantly a learner:)
    wonderful, how the extraordinary of nature has been used to rhyme with the ordinary of our lives!

    splendid description :)

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  14. Hehehe, Yah, The philosophy was killing the melody of the post. Boring lines. :D

    PS: If someone wants something to keep for himself, keep it inside. :D :D :D

    Waitress!!! Really!!! Hmmm.... Is there a sequel to this story?

  15. Beautiful picta!
    I am cool when it comes to starting a journey but then in the middle of it, i get all weary n tired! Esp when it comes to ust nature. I am a people person..So exploring cities, never tires me!

    Those philosophies, lets check out if u can get them copyrighted ;P

  16. I love hiking and this place looks lovely. :)

  17. Nice story:-)
    I do the same thing all the time.. I always wonder whats behind the next rock or what views there are on top` I check it out. I love to go hiking in the mountains.
    Have a happy evening!

  18. Shama:

    Thank you. In this respect, I have definitely been lucky! :)


    Kashmir..I have been harboring for that place for very long now..well..first I will have to come back to India for that...

    Thank you..

  19. Bala:

    Its a place in Switzerland. But, South India has similar and awesome places too..I think..I will have to post some photos of them! ;)

  20. Paul:

    That is some twist..which you gave to that legendary statement of George Mallory...'Because..I can'..simple and true..

    Good Luck to you too :)

  21. Saru:

    Thank you. Your latest 'Journey' was fantastic :)


    Thank You. Yes..The Nature never disappoints me. Wish you good luck too :)

  22. Ghoda:

    Wellington!! Make the most of it. Its such a small country..may can cover all while cycling ;)

    Hey..go to the South Pole! :P


    Thank you. The hidden gems of nature are everywhere. There is so much to explore!

  23. Lady Fiona:

    Great Story..Fiona..One who is in love with the nature and what it has to offer..will understand our passion for it. And that P.S part...would be glad..if you will share his story with us.. :)

  24. Chintan:

    I can be that sometimes too..the Lazy Bum I mean...and believe is sometimes as blissful as the uphill walk! :)


    Thank you. Would love to hear your hiking stories as well :)

  25. Psycho:

    Well..someone had the guts to speak about boring philosophies...I was wondering..when and from whom will it come..haha :) sequel...I will have to go again there for that! :)

  26. A grain of Sand:

    When I have nothing better to do..I can be that ..'thinker and a philosospher'...but a learning is a life long process! :)

    Thanks Again!

  27. Red Handed:

    Well..exploring cities and being with people and be fun too...It also depends on a place..what to expect..

    Just because..I went alone this time..does not mean I am a loner! :P


    Yes..that something which keeps us going! :)

  28. Nice one..especially since I love the outdoors too

  29. I enjoyed reading it Kunal.. I have a dream to go to a hike. Didn't came true till now. I hope I'll get a chance in future. Oh and mistakes makes the adventure more adventurous! :-)

  30. Alps.. oh boy.. I was in love with this place right from the time (long time ago) when I read Heidi..
    What an experiment to combine travelogue with some lovely tips for self dev!
    Liked it when u said, "Its OK, if no one shares your passion in doing what you want to do." I actually dont want any one to share my passion ;).. !

  31. Maitreyee:

    Thank you :)


    Thank you..I get a chance soon. Just don't make too many mistakes! :P


    Been enjoying the Alps for many months say the least! :D

  32. Nicely written. I once went on a trek where we had to cover 65kms in 3 days. We covered 26kms in a single day but had to give up the rest, as it started raining heavily. Ur experience kinda reminded me mine..:-)