So it didn’t really cross my mind to log our hike up Adams Peak (Sri Pada) in Sri Lanka as a workout. I thought it’d be more of a friendly walk, something I’d write about in my postcards section.
But trudging back to our guest house, soaking wet and very tired after no less than six hours of steady, high intensity cardio… Well if that’s not a workout then I don’t know what is!
Adams Peak, or Sri Pada, is a hike up the mountains in the tea plantations in central Sri Lanka. It’s a Buddhist pilgrimage. The idea is that you set off something like 3am in the morning and get to the top in time to watch the sun rise at around 6am.
So that’s what we did.
Donned in our waterproof jackets and hiking boots and thankfully with the torches that we had packed ‘just in case’ (it was pitch black outside) we set out to climb the 5000 odd steps that led up to the Sacred Footprint of the Buddha.
When I say 6 hours of steady cardio I’m not lying. It’s three hours ish to the top. Never-ending stone steps that were so steep I genuinely had to use my hands for some of them. They were as tall as I am!
I mean if you fancy recreating this workout for yourself, all you need to do is set the stair master in the gym for three hours or so- whilst wearing a blindfold and heavy hiking boots. And that doesn’t even account for coming back down!
Half an hour from the top we stopped at a solitary little hut/shop. The owner invited us in for coconut roti and some strong sweet coffee. It was heaven, and gave us the energy we needed to push through that last stretch.
I’d like to say that we got there in time for a spectacular sunrise. Unfortunately, the weather was so wet that it was literally like stepping into a cloud. Grey mist everywhere with strong winds that made frost form on our eyelashes.
It was the views on the way back that made it all worth it. Legs shaking and glutes burning, we made the trip down, seeing what we had missed in the darkness on the way up. Luscious green vegetation, waterfalls and little temples everywhere. It was gorgeous. There’s nothing like a spectacular view to make you forget fatigue and doms.
It may not have been the best workout for muscle building, but the constant cardio certainly made us look and feel a lot leaner! And much more fun than three hours on the stair master.