Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gone Hiking.

Just before I changed host families I was invited to go on a hike by some friends from school. It's quite refreshing  for a group of teenagers to suggest such a thing but then again I didn't go with your average group of teen gang-bangers. I went with my wonderful exchange buddies, Hannah(the Austrian) and Ngan(the Vietnam) plus four other students from my school who all got numerous cords, badges, awards,etc at senior honors night and were all valedictorians and whatnot.

If you're up in the Central Coast of CA, perhaps you've heard of Point Sal? Anyway, I hadn't- but we hiked it. I really had no idea what I was in for, especially since I'd never been hiking before. Nevertheless I equipped myself with aerosol sunscreen and sunnies and managed to barely get sunburnt. My ears and eyelids(?!) were a tad red but I was pleased since I was the palest kid and the others got redder.

The two guys in our group were seasoned hiking pros and led the way. Of course our first obstacle was a ginormous hill which left my legs aching(akin to the feeling one gets when doing lunges). Luckily that was the most difficult part. The walk itself was very fun. I can imagine the same hike with a group of typical adults would have been much less amusing. There was much laughter and silliness. Pranks, swordfights with sticks as well as harmonica playing distracted us all from the hours of walking we endured that day.

Unlike in Australia when you are fairly unlikely to spot animals on a walk, I actually saw many on this American hike: Eagles, crabs, snakes, insects, lizards, rabbits, mice, cows and seagulls. We headed for a secluded beach as our stopping point but had to go off-trail to get to it and my heart stopped when I caught a glimpse of a thick, fat snake in the grassy surroundings. I urged everyone to keep moving forward as quickly as possible. I could breathe again once we got towards the ocean but only momentarily as we then had to embark down a steep cliff-face in order to get to the actual beach.  I could just imagine myself slipping down the crumbing cliff but somehow I made it(very slowly I might add).

" Where's the next step?! "
We were all ravenous by the time we got to the beach which was definitely not your average tourist beach as there were literally hundreds of thousands of white insects jumping about in the sand underneath our feet. You basically had to just block it out unless you wanted to faint from squirming. Lunch was lovely though; there were tomato/pesto/avacado sandwiches, parmesan-garlic puff pastry rounds, bananas, raisins, flaxseed chips, strawberries and mandarins.

Although the water was freezing, our friend Tommy decided to brave the waves. We kicked around a hacky sack(which had the Australian flag printed on it), threw my boomerang(with much more success than last time) and made bracelets out of seaweed with a unique braid that Ngan taught us all. And we buried the guys in the sand-obviously.

Trying to avoid the water as the tide came back in

The walk home was much harder(and definitely felt longer) than the initail hike to the beach and my heart was pounding as we walked past the 'snake territory' as well as climbing back up the beach cliff but much to my delight we were able to celebrate our hard efforts at a frozen yoghurt store afterwards.

The Point Sal hike was definitely a highlight from this year so far but I will never ever do it again.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Great recount of the adventure Shivi! Made me laugh! :P
Very cool blog as well!