Hi,

Five weeks today I’ve been away now. Strange how this time it seems to have gone so much quicker than last year in SA.

So carrying on from last Thursday, in the evening I went to coach at the men’s club. I didn’t exactly do a lot of coaching, more watching of the other coach who had already set out a session. I did however get to meet the former sri lankan national coach which was cool. His English was very good and he was quite knowledgeable of the English game so we had a fair chat. After coaching .. or watching I got a lift back to the house with the goalkeeper, stopped for a drink along the way actually, but got back to the house and quickly tarted myself up as we were going out! That Thursday was one of the Zoo girls, Laura’s, Birthday. So we decided to go into Columbo for a night out. I remember writing that Nick, Samie and myself were finding it quite difficult with the Zoo girls, it has got a lot better since, this night out helped immensely! We met up with Nick and Samie in Cheers as seems to be the routine, got some food before venturing onto many a bar. I wasn’t as smashed as the week before but we did manage to keep going until about half four. The minibus back was highly entertaining, the zoo girls had really let their hair down. The high pitched slurring and cackling had me in stitches on the way home. I think the introduction of drinking games midway through the night had really taken its toll, that fact that the girls were useless at them may also have contributed slightly.

Didn’t do a lot during the day on Saturday, we left for Adams Peak at about five in the evening. Adams peak is basically a monster of a mountain that we intended to climb going on the piss the night before was probably not the best preparation though, as we were to discover. We thought there would just be the four of us going  Rob, Nick, Samie and myself, but we were also joined by the American lady Susan from the elephant orphanage, no problem we though we couldn’t have been more wrong!!! It was about a 5 hour drive to the base of Adams Peak and that’s pretty much where the problems started. The four of us normal people (Sri Lanka has turned me into somewhat of a b**** it would seem) went and slept in a hotel for a couple of hours as we weren’t starting our climb till 2am … the idea being that we’d reach the top just as the sun was rising. Not Susan though, she was too good for that place. The room was actually very nice with the most comfortable beds. I got a bit of sleep but was woken at about half one by some of the most amazing snoring I’ve ever heard. Samie is taking all credit, but still cant imagine such a huge noise coming out of such a small person, she must have been sleeping with a megaphone next to her, it was deafening! We got downstairs ready to go about 2am, round two of trouble with Susan. Whilst we had been asleep she had found out that we weren’t going to Ela the next day but straight home, needless to say this did not make her happy! Where she got the info from in the first place is a bit of a mystery as we never intended to go there, we think Nerangela may of told her. This led Susan to walk off in a huff, into the dark without a torch, mature! Rob went and got her so we could start climbing but in the process of walking off she’d also locked herself out of the van, cue fit of rage! All this suddenly became our fault and Susan started to become quite aggressive, especially towards Samie who was actually trying to help. I offered a few choice words, and she seemed to pipe down … for a bit.

adams peakSo the climb, we knew before that it would probably take between 3 and 4 hours, and that there was about 5000 steps to the top, this was gonna hurt! We set off at a fair pace, Susan’s antics had set us back about half an hour. About half an hour in Rob got a call from our driver asking him to send back our guide to help Susan. It wasn’t as if we’d left her, she had her own guide in the form of Chaminder, one of our house boys, her plan to seemingly ruin our entire weekend now seemed to be in full swing. So we were on our own, the writing was on the wall and the inevitable happened, we went the wrong way for a good twenty minutes. Once back on track we again started pacing up the mountain side but the steps were getting increasingly steeper. We reached another fork in the road, but this time instead of guessing we thought it best to wait for our new best friend and the guide. The guide hadn’t actually stuck with Susan but gone on ahead, luckily Chaminder knew the way. We didn’t have any problems after this, except the climb. It was never ending. After what seemed like an age we hit step 1950 (or something like that, I don’t remember exactly, I was in a state of delusion) .. you must be kidding me. Stops were becoming more of a regular thing, and their length was ever increasing. It was pitch black so we had to use torches and whichever way you shone them all you could see was steps, bloody steps. I’d hate to attempt the climb on my own, having others to motivate me was so crucial! We eventually caught up with our guide who had made it to the top and then come back down looking for us, top lad. We dared ask the question how much further, half an hour the response and it was only 5am. We were all pretty happy with that, what we didn’t know was that it was the most testing half an hour of the whole climb. We eventually all went at our own pace. Nick made a monumental effort to get to the top as he’d been feeling ill for a couple days and was not in a good way. Rob seemed to relish the climb and practically run up it. At the top we were greeted back a monk and some of his chums, they gave out tea and let us sit by the fire. I couldn’t believe it was so so cold, Sri Lanka’s right next to the equator. We sat in this tin shack for about 30 minutes before the temple would be opened at six thirty and the sun came up. We never really did see the sun rise, the cloud was so thick, that said I’m still glad I did the climb, the feeling of self achievement as I hit the top was immense. It was probably the toughest thing physically I’ve ever done. Table Mountain in SA was probably a harder climb but it only took an hour and a half, this was three hours of continuous, never ending, energy zapping steps … good work out though. The descent was also quite taxing and quite tricky too. Since reading up on Adams peak I’ve found that it is apparently where Adam first set foot on earth after being cast out of the garden of eden, he must have been freezing! Sri Pada as the mountain is also known means sacred footprint, such a footprint was supposedly left by the Buddha as he headed towards paradise. The climb is about 7km and consists of about 5200 steps.

top of adams peakUnsurprisingly Susan hadn’t made it to the top, we always knew she wouldn’t that’s why we were so pissed off she called back for the guide, in the end she refused to pay for him, knob! Once back at the hotel we all got showered, examined our leach bites and had some breakfast. My leach seemingly had a foot fetish which is a little weird. I climbed up in shorts so it had the both of my legs to aim for yet it chose to worm its way down my socks and nibble on the top of my right foot, strange one. Those bites bleed for ages too. It was whilst I was sorting my bite out that Susan launched her final assault on us. Apparently she stormed in on the others having breakfast and let rip with what she thought of us. Gutted I missed it as I would have definitely told her what I thought of her. Bloody cheeky of her though, all because she hadn’t got her own way. Probably sounds like I’m being well out of order here, to a woman who is a lot older, mum I can see you shaking your head, STOP IT! This woman was a nightmare, its no wonder none of the elephant orphanage lot like her, even rob who is the liason officer over here and has choose his words carefully has a distinct hate for her. Right too many words wasted on her. Saturday evening we returned to Ja Ela and treated ourselves to a Chinese at AGH, we also spent Sunday at AGH recovering in the pool. Monday was painful, the full affects of the weekends exploits came and smacked me in the face! I ached all over and found it a real struggle to get out of bed, I even started shivering and just generally felt exhausted. None of us felt too great, it wasn’t just me. Felt a bit guilty that we couldn’t really have a good night out on Monday for Nicks last night. Nick left on Tuesday much to my dismay! Top lad Nick, even if he is a posh kid. He’s come out with some classic one-liners over the past month, none better than when we got to the top of Adams peak and he let rip with ‘Great! What else can I pay for that will make me truly miserable?’.  Classic. He’s also been a constant source of entertainment from day one, good look at uni next year mate and freshers week (insert gay winking, smiley face thingy).

Been coaching at the school all week which is still really good fun, the mens club is starting to wear thin on me. Not the actual coaching at the club its just that usually they don’t turn up and I have to ring them to find out that’s its been cancelled. We’ll see what happens tonight.

This weekend I’m off to Hikkaduwa. Not exactly sure who with, It might be just me, Samie and Rob, although most of us at the house are heading to a beach of some sort. The house has got quite busy over the last week. Although Nick left four new girls have arrived and another arrives tomorrow. Its gone from being very quiet to very busy in about two weeks.

Thinks that’s all for now, one more post from here then off to India, scary stuff.

Later.

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