As a world traveler I am always interested in being somewhere new and getting there via the road less traveled. When I decided to go to Mordor, popularized by the Lord of the Rings vacation documentary series, I decided once again to take that less traveled road.
However mired in blur and last minute CG, I knew that the front entrance to Mordor was through the gated valley and that it was readily available to babies on the go like me. Yet as convenient as that would be I found it wholly unappealing, and I’ll tell you why.
The front gate had tens of thousands of bystanders — most with swords and mace, I might add. It’s an understatement to say it’s merely well-visited. I mean, talk about a high-traffic destination! It’s historic for sure but the view is lackluster at best considering the absentia of flying dragons and an army of Orc. So, why bother?
I’ve done my research and, apparently, when the area was first built they didn’t have permits to put in a battlefield. So of course it wasn’t built to code and, not surprisingly, once they had a battle the whole place collapsed (though it’s since been rebuilt by the Department of Tourism). Also, it’s my understanding that many if not most of the past tourists met their demise in the sinkhole that devoured an evil army. So if you’re looking to be part of a reenactment of those notable moments, that front entrance is your best bet. I mean, talk about excitement! (But I guess you wouldn’t be around after that to brag to your friends.)
Conversely, the back entrance is quiet and very scenic. Sure, it’s a bit tougher of a trek since it doesn’t have easy tour bus access and there are no signposts pointing the way, it isn’t littered with refreshment stands or guys selling bootlegged T-shirts. But if you’re a toddler like me wanting to experience the true essence of Mordor, this is the road for you.
Sure, my expedition team and I are tired, thirsty, and sweaty but fortunately we should reach the top within a few days. I don’t recall any other hazards to avoid beyond the apex, though I cannot be sure since I kind of slept through that part of the documentary. Irregardless, as experience serves me, even a deadly monster lurking in the shadows would be easier to deal with than a swarm of locals preying on the unsuspecting tourist.
If you promise to keep it a secret I will tell you that you might be able to find the Secret Road to Mordor at or around the Lingyin Temple, ask about the Peak Flown From Afar, Being a baby and all, I am above suspicion in letting the secret out.