PICO DE MIJAS
After the River Walk in Nerja, the group had planned to hike up to Pico de Mijas the following Sunday, and I was actually contemplating joining them. I knew it would be tough, 8 kms up and then I needed enough energy to get myself back down the mountain as well. I was waging up if it wasn’t too ambitious, taking in consideration my energy levels, the heat, lack of exercise. But the bug had bitten me, so before I could change my mind, I paid the fee to join them and I couldn’t back out now. At least not in my mind.
Getting up at 6 am on a Sunday morning to go hiking was completely something new for me. Sundays are supposed to be for lazy lie-ins, relaxing, or at least they were. I got up, full of beans, walked the dogs in the dark, they were not impressed and got my water, trail mix, and avocado tomato salad ready for a day of hiking.
It’s really amazing what your body can sustain, your mind gives up, whilst your body just keeps on going.
We started the walk from Alhaurin del Grande, which apparently is slightly longer than starting from the other side. It was a glorious day, blue sky, sunshine, and 9 am off we went. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, some of the people in the group were quite competitive and carried a sandbag, don’t ask how heavy they were, but it was more than 5 kgs. I had enough carrying my own weight.
Through the village it went, to a dirt track and up and up we were going. It is a fun group of people, which makes it all so much easier. After 5 minutes, my lungs were already protesting, the surroundings are beautiful, you walk through a forest all the way up. It’s quite a wide path, uneven with stones, so you need to watch your step.
After what seemed hours, which was probably not even an hour, I was grasping for breath.. oh dear, how unfit can you be. The knees were hurting and my achilles was already playing up. Mind over matter, so that’s what I did, I blocked everything out, focused on my surroundings and putting one step in front of the other. I was so pleased every time someone asked to stop for a minute, as I wasn’t going to ask. I didn’t have a clue how far we were up, but I just felt my body had nothing more to give, so I just listened to people talking, aha-ed and uhuhm-ed as I didn’t have any breath in me to express any words. No parts were easier, the knees and lungs were screaming so loud I couldn’t here any of the conversation around me. Someone asked how much further, and the organiser answered ‘around the corner’, clever. ‘Around the corner’, was 45 minutes of corners further, I gave it my all, even after there was nothing more to give.. giving up isn’t really part of my vocabulary and dictionary.. so I made it to the very top and the sense of achievement is impossible to put into words. I felt elated, proud, booming, although I needed 5 minutes to calm down these lungs of mine. I was so proud of myself, I was knackered, in pain, my achilles was throbbing, my knees were buckling and I was gasping for breath. The photo of my arrival is nothing flattering, but it does sum up the story.
We had some lunch on the top, groups photo, some laughs and I wrapped in something cool to ease the swelling.
And off we went back down, that was easier and not really at the same time, as it’s quite steep with lose stones, you need to watch your footing, but with long legs like mine, it was just much more fun.
I arrived at the bottom, with a big smile on my face, I actually really enjoyed the hike, even though I had to endure some discomfort. It was all worth it.
It’s a fun hiking group we’ve got, we have this wonderful 65 year young Norwegian lady who is part of our group, she’s our inspiration and she’s definitely SuperWoman, as she just keeps going. She’s defeating age, and won’t stop.
Don’t let my story discourage you of going. It is a wonderful hike, and I believe you should push yourself to make a change in your life. That’s what I’m doing, I loved the hike and I would do it again.
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