Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

Climbing Marapi
En route back down “Fire Mountain” after reaching the top!

I don’t know where the time goes, but it’s been nearly 3 years since I scaled Mt. Marapi, the most active volcano on the island of Sumatra. My guides and I began our ascent to the top around 11 p.m. and arrived at the summit just before 5 a.m. We watched the sun rise over all of West Sumatra and enjoyed a full moon over neighboring Mt. Singgalang. It is still, without question, the most significant experience I have had while exploring the natural world. I have never felt so connected and entirely at ease in my entire life and the sense of achievement when we successfully climbed back down and returned to the tiny, but lovely town of Bukittinggi will likely never fade from my memory. (And in case any of you are extra observant— yes, one of my guides did the entire thing in flip flops…which is why, to this day, I still call him Flip Flop, even when we chat on Facebook!).

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