“Come on, you can do it!”
Junaidi, the local guide kept shouting from behind as I was panting (and cursing) while on a trekking trip uphill to see Candi Angin (Wind Temple), a forgotten Hindu temple on one of the hills surrounding the mighty Mount Muria in Central Java.
“It’s only a 4-hour journey to the top and back. Piece of cake.”
Easy for him to say! But weighing at almost 90 kg, what was supposed to be an exciting hiking trip out turned out to be a climbing horror when I had to negotiate the narrow and steep path. So after slowly tiptoeing a landslide point (with Junaidi literally supporting my butt), I managed to reach the 1st checkpoint, a small open area with steep gorges on both sides. I instantly dropped my backpack and collapsed on top of it, breathing heavily. I honestly regretted having accepted the offer to check out the temple. All I want now is to go back home.
“Good job, Brad. When you reach the temple later, you’ll break a new record among tourists that I’ve guided.”
“What’s that? For being the oldest?”
“No, the heaviest.”
I look out to see the mountains, hills, and the sea afar. The temple is another 2 hours away yet I dream of a cold coconut drink by the beach.
That silly record can wait. Let’s take a nap.
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