Hiking is a great sources of pleasure for us besides being beneficial for health. Once we leave the crowded streets of a city and go out for a walking tour away from the mad world, we really feel free.
The open air has a bracing effect on the mind. The congestion of the city, the uproar and tumult, the intolerable noise of traffic, the depressing daily routine all these are forgotten and the mind is at liberty. We then feel like running, leaping, singing and laughing. How merrily we travel mile after mile in the company of friends.
Hiking takes us near the beauties of nature. The sight of wild flowers, streams, trees and bushes is pleasing. A contact is established between us and nature. The sounds of nature, like the murmur of a brook or the song of a bird, acquire a new meaning and significance for us.
Our power of observation is sharpened; nothing escapes our eyes. A snake casting its slough, a mouse peeping out of its hole, a squirrel leaping about on the branches of a tree, a bird flying past us, all these are noticed and arouse our interest. We have no business worries, no fear of the examination, no anxiety about the home task. We have got leisure to stand, to walk and talk.
It is all the more a pleasure to do hiking in a mountainous region and thrilling than in the plains. The excitement of climbing up to the top of a hill, the adventure of climbing down a slope, a grandeur of sunset behind a mountain, above us, these impart a rare charm and interest to our journey.
We walk among a zigzag motor road or cut across a mountain path in search of adventure. We may have bright sunny weather or be caught by a smart shower of rain. We may look below us into the yawning chasm or up at the peak of mountain. The feeling of unlimited freedom makes our hearts leap with joy.
Hiking is one of the healthiest sports. It ensures a complete escape from the urgent and busy activities of life and therefore gives to the brain the rest it needs. Because of this rest, the brain regains its lost energy and is enabled to do twice as much work as before.
Not only the brain, but the body is also greatly benefited by a long walk. All our limbs get exercise; as we walk along, our digestion becomes more active and our appetite is whetted. By the time we come to the end of our journey, we are as hungry as a hawk and how we relish the meal that we get at a dak bunglow or the food that we have brought with us. And when we have pitched our tent for the night, what a sound slumber we enjoy till we are awakened at dawn by the sounds from nature's creatures.
Add to all these pleasures of hiking, the opportunity of intimate conversation with the strangers we meet on the way or at our halting place. When we are engaged in talk with a stranger, we forget our own identity; we forget ourselves and our professions. We meet all varieties of people in the course of a long hike. We feel interested in chatting with them just as they welcome exchanging ideas with us.