We began on the trail, but when we came to a stream and took a break, for some reason we decided to leave the meandering (read: boring) path and try our luck going straight up the mountain following a stream.
We could see the first summit from the path through a break in the trees. How hard could it be?
After an exhausting hour of steep climbing, we reached a point where we couldn’t stay with the stream because of a waterfall, and couldn’t climb around without traipsing through the jungle. Instead of admitting defeat and heading back downstream, we plunged into the trees.
We kept climbing, picking our way through, getting slaughtered by mosquitoes and, after awhile, running out of drinking water. It was horribly humid, which both helped and hurt—drenched outside, parched inside.
I have no idea how much longer we hiked, but we were at times literally on our hands and knees, crawling under prickly bushes and through rust-red mud.
When we finally came out of the forest onto a trail, we found we were on a completely different mountainside than the one on which we’d started. We gave up on finishing the Eight Fairies that day. We didn’t even make it up one! Instead, we turned tail back down the trail, passing fellow hikers who gave our mud-smeared appearances quizzical looks.
The train ride home was memorable, too. We were so dirty that all the other passengers gave us extra bubble space, which is pretty priceless in Hong Kong, let me tell you!
You’d think I would have learned a lesson about trailblazing after that, but unfortunately this wasn’t the last time I got lost while hiking.
Not too long after, my class got lost on an overnight group hike, in which we ended up camping in a clearing literally blanketed in huge black cicadas.
But that’s another story.
Thanks to Melodie Wright and Emily King for hosting this fun bloghop!
Now tell me in the comments, is this story fact or fiction? You can read Monday's story here.