Took a hike to the top of Arunachala this morning. Even in the early hours of the day, the sun is relentless and I was laughed at (in a nice way) because I was sweating so much. Hiking here reminds me of hiking in Taiwan, it is generally more of a rock climb/bouldering adventure of steep nature. The views from the Mt were outstanding, it is easy to pick out the places in the city that I have been, the fog/smog clouds made photographs a little blurry though. It was pretty crazy to see the temples 6 major statue pillars which loom over my guest house shrink underneath my feet as I climbed higher.
Upon reaching the top of the mountain there is a small hut, sticks and tarps, for meditation and an open rock layer at the very top. This open rock is covered entirely with a layer of greasy black soot and smells like butter. Why the butter smell you ask? Well, during the full moon festivals there is a 2000l tub of Ghee that has a wick placed in it and burns at the top for all to see. Not exactly a Vegan ritual, but to each his own :). The streets are already busy with action setting up for the next festival which is on Feb 10th. Apparently over 100,000 people make the trek around the mountain each full moon on village roads and highways. I Imagine that the town business look foward to this monthly influx of people, I read that hotel prices can go up by 1000% for the surrounding nights.
As for myself, I am looking forward to returning home to spending lots of time with Laurel and plan for my own mountain excursions with my Dad. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I will post more updates in 2 days while I am in Amsterdam airport. Take care and thanks for reading.