Why Camping Alone In A Rain Forest Is Not The Best Idea If You’re Afraid Of Dark Forests

16:00

Tak­ing the bus 947 from San­ta Cruz, the cap­i­tal city of Tener­ife to Chamor­ga, a small vil­lage in the north­ern part of the island. Ready for my planned 60 km long hike in the Ana­ga moun­tains — the remote side of the island with enchant­i­ng Lau­risil­va trees, a type of sub­trop­i­cal for­est with high humid­i­ty and ever­green trees. Beau­ti­ful land­scapes in total wilder­ness.
(Please note the moti­va­tion at the begin­ning of my trip, not know­ing what awaits me.)
 
My trail:

19:30

I arrive in Chamor­ga — the last bus sta­tion in the moun­tains. The road ends here.
I am the only one in the bus until that last sta­tion. The bus dri­ver asks me:
 
“Do you vis­it some­body here?”
“No I am alone, camp­ing …”
“Camp­ing? Here? Alone? But it’s cold here and there is noth­ing but for­est, you are not afraid?” He looks at me very shocked.
“No, I’m not … has­ta luego.” I get out and make my way into the rain for­est.
Of course I’m not afraid … still not know­ing what’s wait­ing for me in the rain for­est. 
 
The begin­ning of the trail looks like this:
 
At the begin­ning of the trail there is a sign: 5 km until the next vil­lage, it says. Ok, let’s start here.
I get deep­er and deep­er in the mys­ti­cal for­est. The road is dif­fi­cult and slip­pery and the veg­e­ta­tion gets wilder and wilder. Var­i­ous birds are singing … sounds like one of those “8 Hours of Relax­ing Med­i­ta­tion Music” videos on YouTube. 
It is just me and the ani­mals out here (I know there are no dan­ger­ous ones here so I’m chilled about that part).
It gets fog­gy and dark. The cold clouds are rush­ing through the for­est. As they do so, it  sud­den­ly gets pret­ty dark and it con­fus­es me because I have the feel­ing that it is much lat­er than it actu­al­ly is. 

20:00  

I’m not sure wether to walk fur­ther or to put up my tent. Sun should go down soon, so I bet­ter find a spot to sleep. But some­how I don’t feel com­fort­able being alone deep in the fog­gy for­est and know­ing that in less than half an hour it will be com­plete­ly dark around me (Hah, you don’t say Andreea!).

I walk fur­ther in hope to find a open space where I can sleep. I get more stressed, I keep walk­ing … My 13 kg bag feels heav­ier and heav­ier on my back, I am exhaust­ed …

20:30

It is real­ly time to set­tle down for the night. Luck­i­ly I found that spot I was look­ing for … 

Build­ing up my tent, hav­ing a fruit and seeds meal and wait­ing for the night.
Slow­ly the day­light fades away, dark­ness is about to come. The birds stop singing. Total silence around me.

Some­how I don’t feel like I expect­ed to feel. What did I even expect­ed? I was always afraid of dark forests haha.

I feel lone­ly. Not the nice kind of lone­ly. My mind is play­ing me tricks and I try to con­trol my thoughts rather let them con­trol me.

21:30

It’s total­ly dark. Noth­ing to do. I try to sleep. I can’t. I’m lay­ing and try­ing to deal with the total silence and my thoughts. I start med­i­tat­ing. I fall into this state where I am total­ly calm and almost with no thoughts.


Crazy sounds and birds fly over my tent, I hear steps and I’m total­ly out of this bliss­ful state and I am afraid. I start singing mantras to calm myself; and do so for the whole night.

So basi­cal­ly I was just lay­ing in my tent and singing mantras all night — besides the crazy dreams I had which felt so ridicu­lous­ly real and woke me up cou­ple of times! It’s a nice feel­ing being able to suc­cess­ful­ly con­trol your fears but either way … I wished not to be there in that night. 

07:00

Day­light! Birds start to sing again. I open my tent. Fog­gy and every­thing sooo wet. I feel total­ly exhaust­ed after this night. I lay down for anoth­er hour and start to pack my stuff. I eat an orange and start hik­ing again. 
I walk and walk, the road is moody and water is drop­ping down from the trees. My bag is just too heavy to hike this road. I feel uncom­fort­able and I have almost no water to drink.

Dis­tance to the next vil­lage: ???. No sig­nal. I have no freakin’ idea where I am. Maybe my boyfriend was right by telling my to take a com­pass with me. 
I reach a inter­sec­tion of roads. Not marked.
Great … FUCK! RIGHT OR LEFT? Hmmm …
I don’t want this any­more. Can some­body get me out pls? No!
Ok Andreea, you can do this! Go left.
Big road, caves and mag­i­cal trees. (Pret­ty nice but noth­ing could bright­en up my mood …)Ok maybe it’s the right way. Keep walk­ing.

3 hours later

The main road! Woah! Holy shit … I’ll keep walk­ing here, at least here I am safe and some cars may pass by so I can ask some­body to take me to the next vil­lage.
I walk and walk, it’s cold, I wear only a shirt because I’m sweat­ing like hell. My back hurts and I’m thirsty. I have just very lit­tle water im my bot­tle. I didn’t even brush my teeth this morn­ing just to save water.

Sounds like a good hike what? Hahah


As I’m walk­ing down the road 3 cars passed by … but in the wrong direc­tion. So I keep walk­ing. After cou­ple hours and 10 more km I reach a hos­tel in the moun­tains. I stop there to rest and charge my phone. What should I do? Check in there and stay for the night? And what then? The morn­ing after? I’m too tired to con­tin­ue hik­ing here and the dark fog­gy atmos­phere is push­ing me down. Oh boy.
I was sit­ting there for 3h. I want­ed to take the bus to the city but the next one was in 5h. I want to go to the city NOW.
Then a cou­ple went by and I thought ‘Hey, let’s just ask them if they are going to the main city.’
“Sor­ry guys, are you going to San­ta Cruz?”
They look to each oth­er, look back to me (I was sit­ting there total­ly sweaty, tired and with a big bag.)
.. “Ehm, yeah ?…”
“Wait, where are you from?” I ask them.
“Roma­nia.”
“Oh, pai si eu sint tot din Roma­nia.” I told them. Mean­ing I’m also one of them.
“Oh sure get in.” YES!
Hihi HAPPY me. I am “saved”. It’s so fun­ny how I meet Roma­ni­ans every­where I go. Gyp­sy con­nec­tion is strong. 🙂 
I was so hap­py about that ride. They asked me where I’ve been and what I did up in the moun­tains. When I told them I was camp­ing there they said I’m crazy.
It’s fine … after that trip I also thought I am.

 They drove me to the bus sta­tion in San­ta Cruz where I took the bus to El Medano and checked in at the hos­tel I was sleep­ing the first night. Hav­ing a good rest, food and a warm show­er. How good.

Next day

LITERALLY EVERYTHING hurt. I could bare­ly walk.
30 km hike not 60 km as planned and only one night not 4–5 as I imag­ined to stay but I’m total­ly fine with that. (How did I even think to do this COUPLE of days???) I am proud of myself that I faced my fears and also that I made it through the night with­out cry­ing like a baby, hahah.

Side note: There was a guy I was writ­ing with through Couch Surf­ing and he did the same trail, we actu­al­ly want­ed to meet but I went one day lat­er into the forests to start my hike. After my first night when I arrived in the hos­tel I got a mes­sage from him telling me that he inter­rupt­ed his hike because his first night was a night­mare … too cold and scary in that for­est. So this some­how made me feel good because I was not the only one with­out balls (obvi­ous­ly). :)))  

Conclusion

Don’t go camp­ing alone in a rain for­est after a par­ty week­end. Don’t go camp­ing alone in a for­est if you’re afraid of dark forests. Don’t go camp­ing alone where there is no sig­nal … 

 
if you plan to go camping alone keep in mind:

(Just lit­tle reminder to myself — the only way I can han­dle my expe­ri­ence of that camp­ing trip; Sar­casm ON

  • It can get very dark at night in a rain for­est.
  • It can be also creepy af there — and it will be for sure.
  • You may need shit loads of water with you. If you don’t want to die, obvi­ous­ly. 
  • Try to walk cou­ple of miles with the water with­out break­ing your neck.
  • Warm, water­proof clothes are also a good idea if you’re hik­ing in a RAIN for­est.
  • The com­pass is a use­ful inven­tion for find­ing your way where there is no sig­nal on your amaz­ing smart­phone with free inter­net Europe-wide. 
  • DON’T START THE HIKE LATE IN THE EVENING.
Last but not least:
  • Take a friend with you! Not the imag­i­nary one like mine was … 

Hah, no, real­ly — it was a great expe­ri­ence after all. It’s for sure not a activ­i­ty for every­one (also not for me; I can say that now) but this rain for­est is not dan­ger­ous, there are no dan­ger­ous ani­mals so you are basi­cal­ly ALONE (that indeed is the scari­est thing!). 

My camp­ing trip was def­i­nite­ly as creepy as it sounds in this post but just because I was still exhaust­ed from the par­ty week­end in Berlin and because of the bad weath­er on that day. I still can’t believe I did it … once is way enough.

You don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have to stay over night there, but it’s a must see place on day time for sure! 

I’ll keep camp­ing on the beach, it’s more my envi­ron­ment. 

Stay wild. Over­come your fears. Enjoy the ride.

3 Replies to “Why Camping Alone In A Rain Forest Is Not The Best Idea If You’re Afraid Of Dark Forests”

  1. I’m a guy. I would nev­er go camp­ing alone. Not that it both­ers me. I’d just need a woman, or two or three to bang all night. Not try­ing to sound vul­gur. Just say­ing. They’d need to be at least as pret­ty as this blog­ger girl. Also, some­times when I go out at night, I see spir­its stand­ing around. Some­times they roar at me, or throw rocks. I don’t own a tent. Don’t need one. You can just get a vinyl tarp that is water­proof, UV resis­tant, and mold-free. Then you sharp­en long sticks and dri­ve the sharp end into the ground. Then you fix the tarp onto the sticks. Some­times I go with­out shoes. Oth­er times I just lay on the ground. Does not both­er me much. Noth­ing does.

    1. Thank you very much Matro! Hap­py to hear. Def­i­nite­ly those sto­ries will be remem­bered for­ev­er 🙂

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