Thursday, February 12, 2009


520 days ago

What really happened during the last month? Not much, really. Une vie paisible.

I went hiking about three weeks ago in the Adirondacks, went up Algonquin again - it was freezing cold on top.

Last week in New Hampshire, we left Saturday evening and camped by a fishing lake, not far from the highway, between two mountains, the Sunday morning was glorious, even at 6:30am. Then off to - Kinsman Ridge Trail - we started at 9am (made coffee on the side of the road, in the trail's parking lot), a loooooooooooong way through the woods, up and down, up and down, just across mountains, without seeing much really: a valley adorned by lakes, a swamp, a river with small waterfalls (oh, the nostalgy of the Blue Hole in Jamaica, I so wanted to take a dip in the fresh mountain stream!). I took off my boots and soaked my feet actually.

It was nice just to breath crisp thinner air and to see the sun playing hide and seek through the foliage and branches. So much green all over, moss and leaves, I felt like touching the trees, the stones, the moss and the water, feeling happy just to be alive.

We met a group of people, maybe students, that were traveling for 5 months, all the way from Georgia, following the Appalachian trail. One had two nice medium sized dogs with him, poor things, they have been exercising a lot also.

The first peak we touched wasn't even a peak, but a look out, we just sat down and ate. We actually reached the first real peak - South Kinsman, around 4:30pm - a full day hike time, after quite a rough strenuous part, especially considering all the walking before. I was left alone in the middle, three people went ahead and a couple was way behind - lucky me! So I had to do all the scrambling by myself, it comforted my self esteem, but my morals were running downhill.

The great view of Lafayette mountain only made me think "I wish we did this one instead". Sigh and eat - we spent about an hour or more there, in the warm air, under a clement generous sun. Two guys went ahead, there was the organizer/guide, the couple and myself. North Kinsman wasn't too bad either, then going down took us on another stony trail. We didn't reach down until 9:30pm - quite an adventure. We had lamps and during the last hour I thought we might be on the wrong path, as it seemed to go up again.

There was only me and Gabor, the brain behind this trip, we ended up at the Lafayette camp. We had to hitchhike right afterwards to reach the meeting point where the cars were. Fortunately two people that went climbing were there, so we stayed in the car until the two braves that were supposed to go all the way to Cannon showed up. They actually followed the same route we did, but instead of hitchhiking they walked for 1 1/2 hours. Back to the camp we were lucky enough to meet the two last lost pieces of our party right away. Apparently they also met a bear before.

We pirated a camping spot, at 11 past nobody was around to ask us funny questions. The showers cost $1 in quarters for 5 minutes, I was missing one. A French girl in the group gave it to me. I was standing naked in the cabin enjoying the last seconds waiting for the hot water to run over my tired body when - Cling! - the last coin was rejected!!! I had to put on something quickly and run back, Gabor was still arranging the car, so I was happy enough to get my coin - I ran back, put it in, the shower started right away, someone left it on! I had to get rid of my clothes in seconds and finally got my birthday shower at midnight sharp.

Happy and clean under the gleaming stars on a crystal clear sky I made my way towards the sleeping bag. We had a long lazy morning with our own fresh coffee again (my indispensable Turkish). Then off to the Falling Waters trail.

to see three gorgeous waterfalls and the Flume Gorge, that made me think of the old times when ferns were trees and dinosaurs were wandering around.

So I had a beautiful birthday, sprayed not by champagne but by flowing mountain streams.

And I had some of my great friends over for a party on Saturday, we danced tango, salsa, samba, Arabic music...since 9pm up to 2am. My temp roomie, Bogdan, made a delicious genuine cake, mixing: lady fingers, apricot/mango jam, home made chocolate syrup, caramelized almonds, Nutella, whipped cream and strawberries. The result was surprisingly amazing, I had to say I was a bit afraid. The Catalonia cava is a great champagne replacement. I got many nice gifts, like an etno collar from Ecuador, milongas from Uruguay, a silk scarf, etc, etc.

So all is well that doesn't end but continues.

The tango classes, 2nd level, will start again in two weeks, school started again last week, I'm looking forward to the poetry festival in Mexico in November...maybe a few more hikes.

I am a happy, serene, fulfilled woman, if I change my mind tomorrow, somebody there, please remind me this.

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