Today as group leader I was super excited to get in a good work out and stretch by climbing the beautiful Cerro Apante, but I was extremely nervous about leading some of the less athletic girls up the steep, muddy, and unstable trail that required advanced foot work and stamina. Although some of the girls struggled with this physical task, they all excelled at working as a group by encouraging one another to make it to the top of the mountain and push themselves forward.
The journey was rough for most of us as we trudged on, drenched in sweat, but we all made it to the top of the mountain. There were no car horns, annoying “cat calls”, or pollution – only a grand view of the beautiful cathedral and the many homes in the city below. We all adored the view and were so excited and proud of each other for making it to the top.
The mood seemed to lighten from the rough trek up hill to the fun and joy of nature. Once all of the pictures were done, we made our way back down. We all took more time to appreciate the enchanting insects (mainly butterflies), plant life, and rivers and waterfalls that appeared like another realm. We also exchanged laughter of each others methods of navigating the forest floor. Some even sang and danced, and one (who shall remain nameless), even rolled down a hill, luckily without getting hurt.
When we finally made it down the hill, you could hear the girls scream with excitement from all the way down the road, and could feel their relief once we began making our way back to the hostel. With sore bodies and rock filled shoes, we were all happy to have said we hiked up the Cerro Apante Mountain from bottom to top.