Monday, April 26, 2010

My Calves are KILLING ME!

That is how out of shape I am. This weekend Chris and I thought it was high time we hiked up Cristo Rey, the giant Christ statue that rests at one of the points of the island that jets out into the ocean. My friend told me that once you reached the top you would have a (an?) "Eureka" moment, and since I am apparently due for a bunch of those these days, I thought why not. We decided this mid-morning and thus didn't get hiking until around 11am. Usually doing anything that involves exertion but not water in Dili at 11am is a bad idea. But we did it anyway. They have done an amazing job of restoring the area where the trail begins. The beach area below the statue is accessible through these little "doorways" which have animal gargoyle type things... so descriptive, a picture is way better:
They are every 100 yards or so (a measurement you would NEVER use here haa!) and have different animals on each. I took these pictures AFTER the hike though and was too beat to walk the hundred yards to take a picture of a different animal so here is the monkey closer up
Once you start walking more inland there is a half circle of little huts you can hang out in and eat or watch the ocean.
(see the statue in the background? This does not do the hike justice at all and makes me sound like an ubber cry baby)
There is also a gorgeous fountain and an amphitheater, and bathrooms the boys thought was a castle... well Liam did.
Chris put Abby in the front pack and slung my huge camera back on his back. I loaded up Liam in the Ergo (SOOO stinkin cool, if you have a 2 year old who likes to be held you have to get one!) And poor Sam was on his own to trudge up :) We all had hats, sunscreen and bug spray, but Liam decided last minute he wanted my hat because it was green-- way cooler then his adorable madras print hat.
I took both these pictures with Chris's camera totally just stiking my hand out and taking it (I have NEVER been good at this... just point the lens towards yourself, you wouldn't think it is that hard-- but it is-- for me.)
As you hike up the HUGE staircase (which is TOTALLY shaded-- thank you mother nature and city planners) there are murals every ten feet or so depicting the final days of Christ. We would read the short inscription to the boys and sam would always say it right back to us but making it in question form, so making the last word raise up in tone. It was very funny in a very irreverent sort of way. I learned a lot of things I didn't "know" (and don't particularly believe) about the final days and it sparked some great Biblical conversation between Chris and myself. After the first chunk of stairs there is a platform to take a little breather and that is where you can see Back Beach (because it is at Christ's back) the picture I posted previously. We drank some water, let Sam rest (he needed it not me I swear) and then pressed on. The next break came at the base of the statue. There was a mural of Christs Empty Tomb and AMAZING views of Dili
(this is the end of beach road, the road that we live on.)
Sam wanted to chill on a bench and I asked Chris to snap a pic of Liam and I. He calls it my "boobs McGee" (totally inappropriate I am sorry) picture but hello I had to stand sideways so you could see Liam.
If Abby sees me she generally cries until I hold her but I risked it to take a picture of her and Daddy
Right then another couple came up and Chris and I ran over and asked if she would take a picture of all of us-- what a rare and fantastic thing! Stupid me though I handed her MY camera instead of Chris's. At first it wasn't turned on, a critical point. So we posed until we figured that out, I ran over turned it on walked back looked down at Sam and said smile buddy, looked up and she was handing me the camera saying "it worked that time" so THIS is our Sahweet family picture at Cristo Rey
Haaa! Gotta love it. But I learned my lesson. Chris felt bad so he took one more of me and the kiddos before we made our final ascent
The last set of stairs was super steep and rather precarious so we took our sweet sweet time. When we got to the top we all had the ahhhhh moment. It was gorgeous! If you go around the front of the statue there is a little section you can sort of sit on and lean over and you feel like you are on the edge of the world. There was one loan fisherman and I had to really use my zoom to get even close to him:
The statue itself was beautiful and on such a clear day was very bright and reflective
the boys sat and rested in the shade
having meaningful discussions such as "my favorite color is blue, yours is green" "yeah mine is green, yours is blue"
(this conversation is had multiple times a day and always said as if it was the first time)
But the somone noticed and ant and the ALL BOY side flared up and the stomping began.
(can you guess which parent dressed the boys for this outing.. one clue it wasn't me-- the boys really only wear "licensed merchandise" when we are at theme parks, or their dad gets them dressed, so it actually is a treat of sorts)
I can tell that living in a mosquito riddled country is finally effecting the boys when Liam saw and bird and first tried to smack it between his two hands (the bird was NO WHERE near him) and yelled "got it!" Then he decided he wanted to fly and sat furiously pumping his arms.
After a nice long break Sam turned to Chris and said "how bout you carry me, isn't that a good idea?". So this is what Chris looked like heading down the stairs:
Some locals walking up said "welcome to Dili" as they passed. Of course the way we looked we scream "tourists" and I thought why argue and just thanked them. We made it down and I was so grateful for an air conditioned car. It really was such an amazing hike. (and really not that bad either just when you strap 35 extra pounds on your back it gives you a work out!) We enjoyed lunch at Little Pataya, the kids favorite because of the "play place" then all came home and much to our dismay no one wanted to take a nap-- so we headed to the pool to wear them out some more. That night at 7:30 both of the boys were ZONKED. They didn't even want to read books. Maybe we'll do this every weekend? I will have calves of STEAL!


Elizabeth Moon said...

Love this post! So beautiful!

Jan said...

Another wonderful Saturday- Wahoo! Looks like a fun hike. A workout but doable. And great exercise for you good parents carrying ALL THREE KIDS!1 You have so many beautiful views there. Your beaches are gorgious (except for garbage day- Yuk.) What a good big brother Sam is. And Liam is an adorable little brother. Abbigail is such a sweetie- adorable. Love You!

The Gardener said...