Life Lessons from Climbing Adam’s Peak In Sri Lanka – Earlier this year we traveled to Sri Lanka, a country full of beauty and adventure.
We had heard about the beautiful view of the sunrise from the top of a sacred mountain called Adam’s Peak – and decided to join thousands of pilgrims on their pilgrimage to the peak.
Being a holy place for both Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians, Adam’s Peak is very unique.
To be at the top when the sun rose, you had to begin the hike at 2am.
The rain was pouring down during the entire 4 hour climb up to the peak, small waterfalls had been created in the rocks next to the steps, and you had to wade through deep large mud pools in darkness.
Just our luck – we had managed to pick the most miserable night of the year to climb Adam’s Peak, but we were far from the only ones.
We ended up bringing home much more than just wet clothes, as we learned a few useful life lessons from the journey.
Life Lessons from Climbing Adam’s Peak In Sri Lanka
It’s Easier If You Enjoy The Process
Whenever you were at your lowest, with wet hair and clothes sticking to your skin.
Someone would start chanting, almost as though they could feel your struggle.
The chanting spread like a fire among the climbers who all joined in, singing the same lyrics over and over.
I have no idea what they said, but it was beautiful and it reminded me of everyone else who were with me going through the same struggles, and looking around me realizing what a crazy thing I was doing made me enjoy the process.
I will try my best to apply this to other aspects of my life, and whenever things get tough, look around and see the beauty of it and remember that things aren’t so bad after all.
We All Do What We Do For A Reason
We all had a different purpose for climbing that mountain, and for me it became about completing something, about not giving in, and showing myself that I could do it.
When we finally reached the top, I was wet, cold, exhausted – and happy – the view was nice, but it was the feeling of accomplishment that really meant something more.
Next time I’m in doubt, I will think of how great it felt to be proud over exceeding my own expectations.
The Only Thing Stopping You Is Your Mind
While I’m not a hiker at all, I can tell you that Adam’s Peak is not an easy climb.
I would have thought it impossible for a one-legged person to climb it, if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
In the end, it all comes down to your mind.
If your mind is strong enough, you can accomplish things well beyond what others would say is impossible.
The mind will give up before the body does.
We’re Stronger Together
If I would have been alone climbing for 4 hours at night in the worst possible rainstorm, I would have given up before I even began.
But being surrounded by thousands of people, from 4 year old children to 90 year old women and men with bent backs climbing the mountain in their bare feet, gave me the strength and inspiration to carry on.
If you do it together, you can bring each other up.
You Must Finish What You Begin
On the way down from the mountain, our legs were shaking from the stress endured during the climb.
The pain was almost unbearable, but you had to get down and there was only one way to go.
“Getting to the summit is optional, getting down is mandatory” – Ed Viesturs.
It’s the same thing with life, we often reach points where we simply have no choice to just stop but have to finish what we started.
Places To Visit In Sri Lanka – Exploring The Hill Country
Sri Lanka’s hill country is unbelievably beautiful, with lush green forest, abundant wild life, tea plantations and countless waterfalls.
Exploring the hill country of Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the country, and here are some of the best places to start with.
Kandy – Gateway To The Hill-Country
Kandy is the cultural and spiritual capital of Sri Lanka, with some of the country’s most important temples like the Temple of the Tooth, a nice lake, and a bustling local market.
There are lots of restaurants and bakeries in Kandy that are worth exploring, and some great hotels (many of them are perched on top of hills with incredible views), making this city a good base for excursions to the cultural triangle.
The only thing we didn’t like about Kandy was how many people try to hustle you to visit their shops, all with identical routines – so be on your guard!
Ella – Walking Among Nature
Ella is a tiny little village in a large, stunning area which is easy to explore on your own.
Go for a morning walk up to what is locally nicknamed as “Little Adam’s Peak” for the beautiful views, then check out the tea plantation which you walk through on the way back down, visit a waterfall or take a longer hike up to Ella Rock.
Ella is all about the views and being close to nature.
Everywhere you go in the hill country of Sri Lanka, you’ll see jungles, hills, and tea plantations.
While in Malaysia you have to seek them out, here you simply stumble upon these beautiful velvet-looking fields.
When you’re back in the little village again, make sure you try the buffalo curd with treacle at the Curd Shop.
Favorite snack in the hill-country region.
Nuwara Eliya – Little England
Nuwara Eliya is a strange place, there is no other way to describe it.
With typical British climate and British architecture to top it off, you feel like either you or the town is out of place.
The city center is a boring concrete block, but the outskirts have houses and buildings that are almost more British than Britain itself.
The buildings all give the impression of a glamorous past, one which has faded.
And while time has passed and the world has changed, life in and around these buildings are still stuck in the 1920’s England.
Embrace it, have your tea on the porch or in the garden, and then explore the tea plantations surrounding the area.
Pedro’s Tea Estate is close and cheap to get to (800 rupee/6 dollars both ways and the driver will wait for as long a you need).
You can pay for a tour around the Sri Lanka tea factory if you like, but walking among the cordial-looking hills of tea plants is definitely the highlight.
The plantation has some beautiful views overlooking the lake, and you can watch the workers skillfully picking tea leaves from the bush.
Dalhousie (Adams Peak) – Pilgrimage
There is only one reason to visit the small village hidden deep into the hills and mountains of the hill-country:
To climb Adam’s Peak, the most famous pilgrimage site in Sri Lanka.
The 9 kilometers long climb up the steps to the top of the hill is not easy, especially not in heavy rain.
Which we had to climb in, or at 3 am in the morning.
So make sure you bring good shoes, energy, and clothes to fit the weather (it’s freezing at the top)!
Many people are intrigued to climb the peak to see the amazing sunrise and views from the top, but what is really the most incredible and mind blowing part of the journey is the climb, together with thousands of pilgrims of all ages, struggling to the top.
It’s a sacred site for Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus, which makes it a very special place.
The area surrounding Dalhousie is very beautiful, with at least a dozen of powerful waterfalls, lush tea plantations and an old stone church on the road from Hatton which is worth checking out.