Waking back up at 2 AM wasn't a problem. It was getting out of bed. I had woken up to the sound of hushed whispers and people rustling through their backpacks.
"Samui!!" was the most frequent whisper that reached my ear.
I sighed and then with a "yoshi!" climbed out of my sleeping bag and rushed to my backpack to find my sweater and winter coat.
Now, fully donned with armor, prepared for the cold, I whispered to the lump lying next to me "Nakanosan! Ohayou gozaimasu!" Good morning!
The lump stirred, took the form of a human face, and looked at me "ohayou, horii" .
Thus, the final step up the mountain began.
Before leaving, we were told to organize our backpacks and supplies. Since we would be returning to the 8th station, it was not necessary to bring everything up the mountain. Nakanosan and I ended up leaving with only our breakfast, our walking sticks, lights, and a small backpack.
Now, it didn't come out on my camera, but seeing everyone climb up the mountain was amazing!
Everyone had their own light, either a flashlight or headlight turned on. And all of those lights were headed in one single direction. Zig-zagging their way up to the mountain, it was an incredible sight.
Unfortunately, it can get pretty crowded and half of our group got separated and took another route. But, needless to say, we all made it to the top.
Looking down bellow at the earth before and during sunrise is something spectacular. At first there are only misty clouds below, and you get the feeling that you and your companions are all alone, with only the mountain and the clouds.
On one side of the sky, it is still dark, even a few stars are still shining. Yet, in the east, where the sun will rise, the sky rapidly changes color. It melts from black to a dark blue, then fades to a light purple. Yet, the purple doesn't last because the edge of the sky bursts into a flames of reds and yellows, and the sun rises, scattering all the darkness left.
At last, the sun fully emerges, and a "Bonzai!!!" is shouted through everyone and we all cheer.
We have made it. All of us there, have seen something wonderful and experienced an awesome journey together.
Even though some of us came from totally different countries, spoke totally different languages, had totally different backgrounds, opinions, religions,and even if every single thing about us was totally different,
Everyone there, all will have that same one memory of the sun rising up over the clouds, and wiping away the darkness.
I can't say much about the way back, just that Nakanosan and I were tired. The path back down, doesn't take half as long, but it is rather... well... not to pleasant. The path is almost gravel, and because of that, everyone slips a lot. Other than that, there's not much else to say :)
By the way, the pictures do NO justice...