Lust-4-Life introduces: “The Adam’s Peak” or “Sri Pada”
The Adam’s Peak, or Sri Pada (“Holy Foot”), is one of the big highlights of every proper Sri Lanka travel. Not only because of its 2243 m of hight, but especially because of its mysterious energy. This is nothing for lazy beach hustlers and slow tourists. This challenge is only accepted by real travellers, hikers, adventurers and also strict believers. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t climb the Everest here – but this trek is different. And what the farmer does not know, he won’t eat.
So don’t let a stupid farmer attitude destroy this big adventure, but let’s find out what’s different and then decide.
So what is it that makes Adam’s Peak to a distinct trek? This trek or hike is first of all a pilgrimage, that believers intend to accomplish, in strong convinction that hiking up and struggling through pain will be rewarded on top.
That means, second of all, you don’t put on your hiking shoes and learn again your favourite hiking songs and walk up there in company of likeminded hikers, but with numberless pilgrims, walking barefoot and reciting their favourite mantras. And third of all, you walk these 5000 steps in the middle of the night on a small path, flanked by lanterns – which more often don’t work than they actually do.
Absolutely worth to mention is, that the on the weather depending season for this trek is December to March. In all other months it could be a mess.
Adam’s peak is not only cloaked by mysterious fog and forest but also by cloak-and-dagger stories. Thus followers from four religions have
invented got their legends about the genesis of this famous footprint. And all have their own beautiful myths.
Emmigration and Immigration
Adam, the guy from the Bible, is seen as the first human in Christianity and Islam. This legend bounced, after his stupid wife Eva fucked up their green card, to find an adequate place on earth, after God had kicked them both out of paradise. So he took Eva and they both flew on a pink cloud to Ceylon. The view was amazing! They fell in love with this island instantly. Getting off the cloud was only possible on the highest point (which would actually be Pidurutalagala, but its not mysterious enough there), and thus Adam made his first step on aforesaid mountain.
Btw: Some Christians, who know a lot about feet (portuguese colonial rulers), say it was St. Thomas – who had already big fans in India that time.
The Great Worshipper
Naturally, since Sri Lanka is a mainly Buddhist country, there is certainty that Buddha himself was the one who left his footprint up there. It happened, when Lord Saman invited him over. And as a sign of his gratitude and worship, Buddha stamped his left foot energically into the rock. I actually seems like a stupid gift of a visitor. But in Buddha’s inimitable foresight, he could already see, that Saman will be able one day to make a lot of money with this!
Hinduists have got their own interpretation. And of course it could have been no one lesser than Lord Shiva himself, big rockstar in India, where I have met him a couple of times in 2017. And what do rockstars do? They dance! And so did Shiva, when he made a Bollywood suitable party on the peak in ancient times. Dancing like nuts, he eternalised his dance moves into the rock.
The Butterfly Story
An almost profan legend, that unfortunately can not be certified by any of the big religions, tells the story of butterflies, who come once in their lifetime to this high peak – namely, when they notice, that their last wing beats have come. They collect their last power to fly up there for there is no nicer place to die than on the peak of Sri Pada.
The Modern Legend
Isn’t it evident, since there is no agreement between all this great stories and legends, that Lust-4-Life has to conclude all this hurly burly to a sensible, modern legend?
Stop me, if I go too crazy, but the deepening in the rock might be lead back to a geological cause. The followers of the big religions walk up there in naivety and superstition, in hope for a better life, instead of taking a broom into their handy and cleaning up in front of their door.
But what about the butterlies?, you might ask! It is logical. Butterflies are very ironic creatures (starting as ugly caterpillars to become beautiful fairy-tale beings), and so they like to have a big laugh, when they get closer to the verge of death. So one last time they fly up there to this famous footprint, where all these people of all the religions gather in peace and harmony, because there is a legendary deepening in the rock – whereas they fight each other for no reason in the real world, when no superstition brings them together.
And they have a last big laugh and finally go where Adam came from. Irony!! ROFL. RIP.
Now, since the good reader has learned some good background information to be a smart ass, we can go forward to the actual planning of the trip. It is not a very complicated trek. So for experienced travellers, just go there and see. For everybody who wants more information: you will find everything in the following. No worries. We care.
How many days does it take?
Hard tour: 1 Night. You can make this trip with only one night in Hatton or Dalhousie. You should arrive very early in the day, to make the afternoon your time for substitutive nightrest. Go to bed around 4 pm and get up at midnight. Go up, go down, take a bus or train to Ella, Kandy, Colombo…
Soft tour: 2 – 3 Nights. You arrive peacefully from Ella or Colombo or Kandy and you check in. You take one day off to prepare yourself for the hike, eat and drink well and adjust your sleep rhythm. The next day, you get mentally ready to conquer the peak. I still recommend to sleep a lot in the day. Also here the trek will be in the night.
After the trek you might be very exhausted and tired. So just stay another night in Hatton, sleep and explore some surroundings.
Does it cost anything?
Calculate: Number of nights, a bit more than the average food you eat, circa 2 * 1500 Rupees from Hatton to Dalhousie with Tuk Tuk/ 2* 120 Rupees with the bus.
But the trek itself does not cost anything. But, CAUTION, TOURIST TRAP!
In the beginning there is a parting of the ways. Both ways will meet again after 200 meters only. A guy sitting around advised western pilgrims to follow the right way – and straight into the trap. You will find yourself with religious pretenders, who offer you a guest book to write your name in. Next to your name, there is a field for the amount you want to donate. They change the earlier donations into massive high one to enforce you to donate an even amount. Don’t do it. You are a pilgrim. You don’t pay.
Where should I take accommodation?
Normally you arrive in Hatton and you also leave from there again. So it is most simple to just find quarters there. The other option is to go to Dalhousie, where you have to go anyway (1 h from Hatton), because the trek starts from here. But the place is smaller and more expensive.
How long does it take to go up?
Depending on how fast you can walk up 5000 steps, depending on the quantity of your rests (you should do some), depending on how crowded it will be…
… something like: 3-5 hours
Where does the trek starts?
Arriving in Dalhousie it will be very obvious where to go. All the people, all the shops make it evident. If you are still doubtful, simply ask somebody.
Can I get lost?
Yes, if you are very stupid, you can get lost. But if you just follow the one and only way there is, and you can also just follow the plenty of people, then it is almost impossible to lose your way. Further the whole trek is flanked by lanterns, little restaurants and shops.
On which day should I do Adam’s Peak?
Not on a weekend. It will be too crowded. Also Sunday to Monday is too crowded.
When should I start the trek?
a) for #fitgirls and #fitboys
00:00 get up, eat
01:00 get to Dalhousie
02:00 Start to walk up
05:00 you are way too early and you have to wait for one hour for sunrise, but at least you are not still standing in the line to the peak waiting to finally get up
06:00 watch sunrise
06:30 go down again
08:00 take bus or tuk tuk back to Hatton
b) There are some covered places, where you can have a rest, a nap, or a sleep. Even on the very top there is possibility to spend the night (there is no room, only sheltered space for anyone). In that case you should pack your sleeping back. But it can get very chilly and also crowded.
Is it a hard trek?
It is certainly not an easy walk to make these 5000 steps uphill. But there are no technical difficulties awaiting the hiker. If it is rainy, it can be slippery! On top it can be very windy and moistly – cold. In the beginning you sweat a lot, because it’s still tropical. This climate change can be challenging, which takes us to the next question…
- trekking or sports shoes, not slippery
- Socks and shirt to change (if you sweat like the author does)
- warm, waterproof jacket
Board and catering?
You can take some nuts and fruits with you. And water. But actually it is not essential. There are numberless shops flanking the way. So everywhere, literally everywhere you can stop and have a snack and a drink. It’s not even so expensive, because mainly locals walk this way.
That’s the actual reason why so many tourists go up there. And one imagines it harmonically and idyllically… Unfortunately it is not. It is like everywhere, where many humans meet. They leave their trash and go. Furthermore you are not sitting on a lonely rock, but in a stage that makes you feel like being in a football tribune.
You can stay here and see the triangle shaped shadow of the mountain, when the sun comes up. Or you walk down before the masses do so and you find your spot somewhere on the left side after some hundred meters.
And the way back?
Same as you hiked up. There is another way, but long and complicated. You end up somewhere where I cannot help you.
And now you are ready. Go, enjoy!