The third weekend in February, Yui was in Barcelona and I decided to rest and catch up in Alicante. Except then I found out there was a hiking day trip to la Font Rocha, near Alcoy, about an hour away, and some of my friends were going. So I coughed up the 20 euro, and climbed a mountain.

People will tell you to bring a coat, because you will be cold on a February morning in the mountains. Yes, you will, for the twenty-minute presentation about the mountain beforehand and then approximately five minutes of hiking. Then you will be comfortable in a sweater, and after an hour be glad to take that off too. And for the rest of the trip, you will be very happy you’re not also carrying a coat.

It was overcast in the morning, but after huffing and puffing up steep deer trails for about half an hour we found ourselves… above the clouds

As the day got warmer the, clouds cleared off and we could see for miles, even to the sea. We kept wanting to stop to just look around us because every ten feet was a new breathtaking view.

We got higher and higher, and the exhilaration was contagious. We passed it from one to the other, shedding the layers of quotidian restraint to feel suddenly, surprisingly, and exuberantly free. This is what people talk about when they say how wonderful it feels to be young.

We reached the first summit before midday, and it had the best view. Our (awesome) guide took a picture of us at the top.

We paused for a while, then went to a higher peak. We ate lunch on an overlook platform, and talked amongst ourselves, students from the Canada, Germany, the US, Japan,

Our tour guide led us down through a green leaf-filtered forest, with minimal wipeouts on the shifty gravel on the steep grade. When we finally joined with the road to get back to the bus to go home, we were so proud of ourselves, but I wished we could have kept going. Sometimes, though, that’s the best way to leave things… so that you always want a little more.

It was totally worth it, one of my best memories here. It was just pure, the air in my lungs, the sky above, the mountains pushing me higher, and singing Disney songs while striding down a slope midway through the hike. We were as high and light with laughter as we were with altitude.

Thanks to all my Senderismo friends for the memories, the laughter, and the pictures,
some of which I have used here.

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