By Lisa on Sep 01, 2016 with Comments 2
We were almost at the top. We’d walked a gruelling 4 hours. Our legs were shaking from the exertion of climbing 5,500 steps. We were shivering from our own sweat-soaked clothes that had turned freezing cold after we’d stopped at the Last Chance Cafe (so-called because it’s the last chance for pilgrims to get a cup of tea on the way up Adam’s Peak before reaching the top) where we’d waited to kill a bit of time.
Now we were stuck in a queue going up the last narrow sets of stairs. Soon we would be at the top. Then we would be able to change into dry clothes and find a spot to watch the sunrise.
It was still pitch black. There was not even a hint of natural light yet. Though there was plenty of light from the lanterns lining the path, creating a fantastic carnival atmosphere.
The crowd moved slowly forward and upward, one step at a time as the path got steeper and narrower. We were almost at the summit.
Suddenly we were stopped and pulled aside by a stern-looking guard dressed head to toe in khaki.
Had we done something wrong?
The guard made us wait to the side as the local devotees slowly streamed past us. Then we were joined by another European couple who’d also been pulled out of the line. They looked as puzzled as we felt.
Before we could exchange a word the guard was back.
“Where are you from?” he barked.
“Spain,” we all said in unison. We all looked at each other in mutual surprise. We’d barely seen any Spanish people in Sri Lanka, let alone walking up Adam’s Peak where there were fewer westerners.
“Ah, Spain and Spain,” said the guard, a big smile spreading over his face. “Barça.” It wasn’t a question so we all just nodded.
Then the guard got to his point, still beaming from ear to ear. He wanted to welcome us to Adam’s Peak, wish us a great time and warn us to be careful with our valuables in the crowds. Then he stepped aside and let us merge back into the throng.
It really is a small world
“We haven’t seen many Spanish people,” said the other couple as we began to climb the stairs again. “Where are you from?”
“Mallorca,” we said.
They stared at us in total disbelief. “I suppose next you’ll say you are from Alcudia,” laughed the girl.
“Er, yeah, actually!”
There were ‘no ways’ and ‘can’t believe its’ all round as we realised that not only were we all from Spain, we were all from the same island, and the same town on that island! What were the odds of the guard collaring us at the same moment?
Then there was more…
We started chatting about what we each did in Mallorca. Not only had they heard of Toni’s company but the girl worked in the reception of the hotel right over the road from my office and sold our excursions to her guests! We realised we had spoken many times on the phone.
Then the guy realised that we must know Yoko.
“She’s my sister!” exclaimed Toni.
No way! This was getting really freaky.
This guy knew Yoko because he was related to Omar, who was at one time her then boyfriend, and had travelled with us to Indonesia.
Adam’s Peak certainly was a magical mountain!
We reached the top and were absorbed into the the crowd. Toni and I found a corner to quickly get changed and we were instantly more comfortable. The other two drifted to the other side of the hill.
As dawn broke we all reached for our cameras and looked towards the amazing shadows cast by the very hill we were standing on in the lush Sri Lankan hill country.
As we were swallowed into the crowds in different directions, this was the last we ever saw of the other couple from Alcudia. If you’re out there, I hope you had a fantastic trip in Sri Lanka!
This was seriously a small world moment. Have you had any like this? What happened? Please share.
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About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....