Today’s mundane life has turned us into working machines. People are possessed by stress. In such a situation, it is best to find means of exorcising it out of them. A simple step could be going on a vacation with family, friends or the distinguished presence of your own self. The Indian Ocean is a mine of treasures that would energise the body, mind and soul. Among the many islands, Reunion Island stands out. Born of a volcanic formation, the island has a rocky and uneven surface with breathtaking panoramic sceneries, be it the blue sea or the misty mountains. One of the most favorite activities of Reunionais and tourists is hiking. The mountains and forests are so alluring that they make hiking the top of the to-do list, even if you are not a risk taking person.
Excerpts from a traveller’s diary
Travelling gives birth to new feelings and attitude to the traveller. For the holidays, I went to Reunion Island encumbered by the oceanic blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Going on the trip alone was no less than a challenge. Yet, I challenged myself further by opting to indulge myself in the most adventurous and thrilling activity of the island, hiking. In Reunion Island, even though hiking is made easy by the authorities as they cleanly and diligently maintain the areas of trail, trippers still need a reliable and knowledgeable guide by their side. Among the many exciting places for trek, I chose to go to Piton des Neiges.
Before going on that trip, I was required to do some bookings and payments which were easily done with a couple of clicks. On the selected day, dressed in comfortable trekking pants, shirt, jacket, shoes, cap and duffle bag-which has to have mosquito repellent cream, mineral water, snacks, towel, spare clothes, map, medicines-I was accompanied by numerous trekkers, who were at that point of time, strangers. Clustered with a group of people and enlightened by a friendly guide, we started our journey at the La Caverne Dufour whose peak houses a mountain hut reserved for hikers. The journey could have been covered in a single day, but as we wanted to sojourn in that special hut, we made it a two-day trip. After walking an hour or so, we reached the peak of La Caverne Dufour in early evening, where the hut welcomed us in the coziness of a home. Giving in to tiredness and cold, we all retreated in the privacy and warmth of our individual cabins and groped on the delicious food. In a minimum amount of spare, strangers became friends. I marveled at the relationship that we human beings share. Closing my eyes, I let sleep take control over my mind and body.
If anyone wants to witness the enchanting sunrise from the highest mountain of the Indian Ocean, then the perfect way to do so is to reach the peak of Piton des Neiges at the perfect way. This is what we did. We commenced our second part of the journey after a light breakfast. As we marched all the way to the top of the mountain, in the wee hours of the morning, temperature dropped to such an extent that even the stars seemed to be shivering out of cold. Like all adventurers, we carried on with our trip without losing much confidence, with torches and lamps illuminating our path. I was exhausted, not to admit that would be a blatant lie, yet the prospect of being the first one to greet the sun in all its magnificent glory kept me moving.
The rustling of dead branches and leaves, the hooves of nocturne birds fleeing the day and the running of the nearby lake kept us entertained. I imagined myself being cast in a slow motion song. Early mornings like these are appropriate for a meditation session and to discovering oneself, as I did. Taking deep breaths, accepting oxygen in its purest form and feeling it captivating my lungs, vessels and brain, I relished that moment. It was almost as if positivity is replacing negativity. As I was escalating to a higher altitude, my mind began revolving concepts of existentialism and self-contentment that I never acknowledged. It might’ve frightened me. But now that I think of it, I feel I have matured.
A tiresome ascension. Oh! I see. The final step of our journey. The sun was about to rise. With a final dash, we conquered the peak just in time. Inhaling lungful of air and waiting for the yellow ball seemed to be the most patient thing on Earth for me to do. Eyes fixated towards the horizon, there it was, finally coming out of its cocoon. The sun gradually rose in the sky and bathed us all with its warm rays. Tiredness, soreness, numbness, sweat and cold were all forgotten in a jiffy. The warm feel of light on my face was just indescribable, almost out of the world. I stood there, facing the sun, and realized, that thing really is something powerful as it burns and still continues to shine and inspires all of us to do same. The experience had been an enchanted one…full of magic.
Mother Nature does wonders and I might just have witnessed that.
We hope your next hiking trip would be as enchanted as our traveller’s.