Although it happened four years ago, I’d never forgotten it. I thought I was a little bit insane doing that, but I believe that there’s no coincidence, everything has a reason. Included what I had done, LOL.
I felt a little bit insane because I needed a place that is more than 2000 kms away, -which means I had to take a flight going there, crossed national borders, stayed a few nights and so on-, just for breaking-in my new shoes. A bit crazy right? 😀
Couldn’t I do it closer to my hometown? Actually I did not answer it, but perhaps, this was also part of the extraordinary things, or miracles in my life because I tried to make dreams come true and I believe what Paulo Coelho once said, When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
That year, -usually as being just a leisure traveler, not a mountain climber nor an outdoor geek, I suddenly got the inspiration to trek to the Himalayas, Nepal. That’s totally an acute insanity, haha… because for me, “trekking” was the word that never been written in my vacation dictionary. And although my home country Indonesia is a country with so many mountains, I have never climbed any mountains in Indonesia.
However, I already have a ticket to Nepal and the plan must go on…
And one of the preparations, I bought a pair of trekking shoes which were so pricey and made my wallet thinner. And then, I got the following problem, where should I break in my new shoes?
I didn’t want to break in my shoes in Indonesian mountains because the nature is more challenging and I was too lazy to face the hiking problems. If you want to hike in Indonesia, you have to prepare a lot include the tent and basic camping gears; and basically I don’t have it all that are needed to hike in Indonesia. My goal was simple, I just wanna to break in my shoes, not to hike or camp in the mountains.
And, as I said above, my plan to trek in the Himalayas got the help from the Universe.
One day suddenly, there was a notification from my best friend to join a seminar in Phnom Penh about the transition period after the darkest era of Khmer Rouge, which was presented directly by Mr. Benny Widyono, -born in Magelang-, who was the representative person of the UN Secretary General.
Of course I could not ignore the extraordinary opportunity to join his seminar and that opportunity opened another to solve my own problem. Suddenly I knew the place to break in my new shoes. It’s Kbal Spean. Finally I could go to Kbal Spean which was too long listed in my bucket list.
Kbal Spean, is a Hindu site located in the western part of the Kulen mountain within the Phnom Kulen National Park, about 40 kms north of the city of Siem Reap. Commonly known as the Valley of a Thousand Lingas or sometimes it’s said, The River of a Thousand Lingas. Because the site consists of a series of stone rock relief carvings in sandstone formations of the river bed and banks. The motifs for stone carvings are mainly lingams (phallic symbol of Hindu god Shiva), described as neatly arranged bumps that cover the surface of a sandstone bed rock, and in the form of linga-yoni arrangement. The other motifs of the site are various Hindu Gods and mythological motifs, including depictions of the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Lakshmi, as well as animals which are known in Hindu.
To reach Kbal Spean from the parking area, it is about 45-minute nice easy walk through the forest for about 1.5 kms uphill along a clear path, complete with the metric signage along the way up. There is a nice rest hut in the middle of the trek where the visitors can take a rest for a while, to drink and have snacks. The trekking path itself is easy with shady forest in the right and left, a lot of flat, gradually uphill, and only several steep. Closer to the destination, some big boulders with unique forms adorn the way up. And I saw some small carvings depict the Hindu myth on some boulders. After a while, I saw the waterfall where the Lingas sculptures start appearing in the river bed.
I really enjoyed my mini trekking to Kbal Spean, of course wearing with my new shoes 🙂 The gradually uphill path made my feet fit into the shoes. When crossing steeper terrain, I feel comfortable because I can tread steadily because of non-slip grip of the shoes. I walked at various pace, from a casual walk to a little run. Although Cambodia weather was hot, I felt comfy in my feet. And because of the high cut, it protects my ankle too. Actually I felt the shoes became part of my feet.
The experience, -despite having to travel more than 2000 km from Jakarta, having to fly and stayed overnight at the airport-, assured me to wear my new shoes for trekking in Nepal.
But back to the basic question, why do we have to break in new shoes?
We all know that the shoes always look great at the store, but sometimes new shoes bring tight feeling around the toes, rub at the heel or the rear ankle, and they may pinch with every step. Sometimes the new shoes bring pain to the one who wears them. It’s the dreaded break-in period as I did in Kbal Spean, it’s when new shoes rub against feet, may causing blisters, until shoes and feet find a way to conform to each other in harmony. I was so lucky because my shoes bring comfort, not pain that happen to some people. It may describe the famous idiom… If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys
This post was written in response to the bi-weekly challenge from Celina’s Blog, Srei’s Notes, Cerita Riyanti, and also A Rhyme In My Heart, which is the 2nd challenge of 2021 has the theme of Comfortable, so we are encouraged ourselves to write articles weekly. If you are interested to take part in this challenge, we welcome you… and of course we will be very happy!