Thursday, September 16, 2004

Mt Olympus 3- Prionia to Refuge A

I was really happy to make it Prionia, which I though because it had a name, that it was another little town. No, how presumptous of me! A restaurant, an info booth and to my happy surprise, washrooms! The washrooms were locked and when i asked at the restaurant, they told me "toilettes, Caput!" I resigned myself to another day of peeing in the bushes. Surprisingly not as often as I thought i would considering all the water I drank. I started up the mountain. Today, almost all uphill... argh!!! My body was aching, but at least the yoga I did that morning and the day before helped relieve some of it.
I was soon passed by to men and what I assume were their two young sons. I felt even worse when I met them again later in the day, and they were coming down hill and I was still going up. I heard the jangling of bells and thought I was coming up to another herd of goats, but instead I passed some horses and donkeys eating breakfast, accompanied by a dog who didn't stop barking until I was out of sight. I loolygagged my way up the mountain, not half as impressed with the view as I was the day before. The River had disappeared and soon the deciduous trees turned into only coniferous ones. I passes a blonde woman and a young girl, and a black dog coming down the hill. Later in the morning, after a bathroom break, the sounds of bells reached my ears again. A while later, I was passed by the blonde woman and a man sitting on the donkeys followed by the others laden down with supplies.
Everytime I would stop to check my map I would hope that I was farther up than I thought I was. I stopped at a tap for some lunch... more canned tuna and nuts! My diet was getting really boring. I watched little yellow birds play in a puddle and get kicked out by a larger blue bird. I continued up. Constantly being passed by other hikers. I didn't mind, I was going at my speed; I wasn't as exhuberant as I had been the day before though. I heard the bells again and hoped that they had already been to the Refuge and They were going to pass me on their way home. I hopped beyond hope, because this would mean that I hadn't much farther to go. When I reached a clearing I looked up for the sounds of the bells and there was the train, high up on the mountain, still climbing. Argh! I looked at the path up, looked at the rocks and decided it was time to take my noon day siesta. I laid down in the sun and took a nice nap, stretched, meditated and continued up.
I was pleasantly surprised higher up the mountain when I came accross RASPBERRIES! My favourite! I stopped and started to stuff my face. Other hikers would pass, looking at me, I would smile and say "raspberries" They would smile, nod, look at each other and keep going. They probably thought they should call for the Rescue team, some crazy Canuck has lost it. I finally made it to Refuge A at 3:30 pm that afternoon. I walked into the house and there was the blonde woman who had passed me twice that day. She smiled and said "you finally made it" I laughed and nodded. When I asked her how long it took to climb to the top, she told me it was to late in the day to try, that the time it takes to climb from Prionia to the refuge is about the amount of time it takes to get to Mitikas. I laughed and told her for sure I wasn't going to try today. I had some food, met some of the hikers I had seen the days previously and went to bed around 7pm. Most of the occupants of the Refuge were German speaking. I couldn't get away, I always seemed to be surrounded by people whose language I can't understand.
I slept real well that night. I kept on dreaming about climbing to Mitikas with my brothers Josh and Jesse, but everytime we were on our way, we would get way laid. Once we made it to Litochoro and I told them my things were up at the refuge already, then we woke up and were back home (In Canada). Another time we had to find there passports, another time we couldn't get a drive? Canada-Greece driving. You know dreams. I woke up at the wake up call 8am. Myself and a man from Germany sleeping on the bunk on top of me were the last to get up and out of the room. We ate breakfast together, I went out, did some sunsalutations in the shadow of the mountains. It was really exhilarating....