Thursday, April 19, 2012

Around the World: Namur

April 19, 1992

Today, I am being lazy.  No train trips, just exploring the area around the hostel with my hostel mates.  We followed a trail to a hill with a vertical face that begged to be climbed.  Two guys had ropes and proper climbing gear to scale the hillside.  We were content to watch those with more experience climb to the top, about 100 feet up until Hans, my South African hostel mate, removed his shoes and proceeded to climb the face unharnessed and barefoot.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia Creative Commons

Wendy, also from South Africa loudly quips, "You should change your name to Foots!"

Hans makes it look so simple, we all decide to conquer the mini mountain before us.  Hans is the only one able to climb to the top.  A few others discover a steep path to the side while I learn at an altitude too high to abandon my climb, a very important piece of information that should have been considered much earlier.

I'm afraid of heights.

I start to carefully climb down and find a crevice along my route.  Tucked inside, I discover Jill has made herself quite comfortable.  She is also frightened of high places and like me, often forgets that a love of climbing and a mild case of acrophobia don't mix well together.  After realizing she was stuck, afraid to continue up or go back down, she crawled into this small crack in the rock, hoping someone might send help.  My offer to descend together gives her enough courage to make an attempt and we manage save ourselves. 

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"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

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