#OfftheGrid: Top of the Rock, Iringa

Hey world,

I had a 'salubrious' to take on Saturday, but I ended up going into the office for a half day anyways to get my work life organized and to plan my upcoming week. Exciting stuff - I know.

Anyways, because I wasn't going to take the full day off as I was planning, I wanted to check something off of my Iringa wishlist -- to make my way up to a small Christian church/shrine that stares at me each and every day from my office view. 

Can you see it? Top left!
I packed my small backpack with a liter of water, a good book and my hiking boots, and as soon as the clock struck noon at work, I was dressed, ready and out the door!

Happy Saturday to me!
I had been told that despite the church looking quite close, it was quite a trek to get there. In fact, the best way might be to start all the way down the valley and then hike directly up. I decided to just go for it - and started at the path right near my office.

And every so often, climbed a giant boulder. 

It was easy to cross the valley onto the church-side, but I decided to forgo the obvious path at first and instead climb up the gully of boulders, which positioned me behind the church (making it nearly impossible to see) and then I diagonally crossed back and up, and luckily, stumbled upon it as I made my way to a giant rock I wanted to climb up to take in the view anyways! 

Already lost the church from my sight...

The route up took about an hour and a half, leaving me wishing I had brought a snack and more water!

From the top, I could see all of Ipogolo, Gangi Longa, and Iringa town. The panoramic view was truly stunning, and worth the few thorns and aphid attacks I encountered on the way up. 

Welcome to Iringa, Tanzania!

From my vantage point, I spent about a half hour reading and soaking in the views (and taking some selfies!), then decided to return down on a more obvious trail, keeping the path I took from near the office in sight the entire time (mostly because I couldn't ignore my growling stomach any longer). 

Made it back to the gully in less than 25 minutes...what was I doing before?!
This was clearly the better plan, as I made it back to the other side in about 45 minutes, and found it much more easy to navigate.

And that was that - another great 3 hour adventure in the books, some solo time exploring the hills, and a couple more places I saw that I'd like to hike my way to. 

Did you explore more this weekend? 


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