Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Great Expedition, Pt. 2 of 3.

(Continuing from here.)

A wide, scrub-covered expanse.

The path descended...

Jordan and Nathan...


Caught up...

And just minutes after we arrived...

The sun set.

But the story does not end there. First Vishnu, then other members of our party began to descend; "There's a path!"

Vishnu discovers a 'cave', which he terms his 'hobbit-hole'. Pipe-weed is discussed.

Five feet above us.

Another 'cave'; to which, it should be noted, I thoroughly beat Vishnu in a race to.

He enjoyed its luxuries for a time all the same, in company with Nathan.

But as we enjoyed the luxuries of 'caving', Jordan (against Kailyn's cautions) went further. Rather a bit further.

He sat there for a little while, then climbed back up. I decided that this could not stand; I would go so far as he had, and then at least one inch further. Others followed me.

Jordan was the first to follow me; Rashmi followed him. There was some concern expressed over the threat of 1) slipping and 2) falling. (This was rather a constant threat; the path was extremely steep.) Jordan offered some element of comfort: "If you fall, I'll catch you! If I don't, I guess Nick will..." In some cultures, his helpfulness is a thing of legend...

We stopped after the descent, to admire the view.

We had come some distance down the cliff face!

Rashmi met me at Jordan's stopping point (which I had, in fact, overpassed by an inch); Jordan followed shortly after. "We should climb down all the way to the beach, someday," Rashmi mused.

"Why not tonight?" Jordan asked.

It was a plan.

I was the first to descend, though after a short while, Nathan caught up and passed me. The two of us stayed close together for the rest of the descent, chatting as we half-climbed, half-skidded down the ludicrously steep trail. Time passed; the light grew dimmer; the trail grew narrower. The effects of peer pressure are discussed; I assign all blame to Nathan, perhaps somewhat unfairly. We have long since lost sight of the others; very occasionally, we hear their voices.

But, after the long, long climb - growing ever darker as the last light leaves the sky - we make it to the bottom. To my surprise, I see not just Rashmi and Jordan behind us, but Vishnu, Rohit, Kailyn, and Sindhu as well. From the paved road that the trail exits onto, we climb down to the beach - we could have taken the road, but it seemed a bit of a cop-out after that long a climb. Nathan, Jordan, and perhaps Vishnu (?) climbed down the side; the rest of us, I first and foremost, climbed down the side of the cliff, where amply-heaped boulders provided an easier path than the sixty-degree, scrub-covered slope straight down from the road. The rocks crumbled oddly underfoot; looking solid, but softer than topsoil.

The beach. I must apologize for the quality of the shot; my beloved iPhone is not much for high-quality photography at the best of times, and in low-light video... it grows rather worse.

A Sign, just below the cliffs we just descended. I suggested a group photo; sadly, no such thing occured.

The others took their shoes off; I opted not to, not relishing the thought of the climb back up with sand covering my feet. (Most of the others ended up making the climb barefoot, possibly for this reason?) Jordan offered to skinny-dip for $5; I offered $5 for him not to; Nathan offered $6 for him to do it anyway. Thankfully, he left his boxers on. There was a brief chase of Vishnu along the beach, for no particular reason that I or Roheet knew; then we discussed the climb back up.

(Again, to be continued.)

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