Picture the scene if you will, 12 adults of differing ages and abilities, different needs and wants, all going on a trek. Sounds simple, ever tried to herd cats?
We start the trek from the Villa towards the lake and within the first 500m we have already lost one individual to a group of dogs that had to be fed. She quickly catches up but that was the last time we were all together until the temple.
We wander along taking in the local plants, wildlife and scenery. Some people in a hurry, some, not so much. As we get to the temple we are met by a few stray dogs one of which was particularly skinny, the whole group took pity on the dog and one person fed it some ginger biscuits (it’s all she could get from the villa). This was the start of the dogs obsession with our group. Our guide stands to one side to protect us against one dog, apparently he is a racist dog, hates the whites! If that’s his beliefs then so be it, I’m not going to try and have an equality and diversity chat with him.
We walk a little further and find the source of all meditation torment, the bread man, his van and the music of its a small small world. I don’t know what to do, in my head if I ever met him, we would have words and I would smash his van up. In reality, I smile sweetly and find myself wondering how much it would cost to buy one of his pastry’s.
After a quick look around the temple, most of the group then decided to head on up to the top of the rock, leaving behind a few individuals. For some weird reason, the dogs decided they wanted to join us.
This all sounded good until we got onto the narrower parts of the track. That when I was sure the dogs had come up with a devious plan. The dogs seemed to have a knack of getting under your feet or nudging you just as you went to make a tricky move or step. I think they wanted to knock one of us over so they could then feast on our dead bodies and never be hungry again.
I’ve done a little bit of hill walking in my time and traditionally you would have the slowest member of the team at the front in order that you can keep everyone together, here we ended up having a survival of the fittest test.
The route up was a bit of a scramble, under some trees, over others and some rocky areas that required some weird gymnastics to get over. Although there is no footage of this, I’m sure I did a crow pose followed by a grasshopper at one stage.
One person was quite slow as they were not wearing shoes, so the second instructor took the fastest people off and everyone else just followed on behind as quick as they could. There weren’t many options to go horribly wrong, we were just spread out like retreat from Moscow.
We eventually get our sweaty bodies to the top of the hill and stop for some tea and ginger biscuits, the dogs were more than happy with this decision. This may also bide us some time with the dogs and their efforts to kill us.
The way back down was just as much fun, wondering if a big bolder was going to come chasing after us, Indiana Jones style. Thankfully we didn’t get trapped or have to run away from anything and the sneaky dogs seemed less interested in tripping us over on the way down.
Once back at the temple we grab a tuk tuk home and sit around discussing stories of daring do, time for tea and medals.