When I was younger, I wish I would have appreciated nature the way I do now. Too bad I took things for granted, but I think this is also part of the journey. By now, we all know that outdoor experiences not only improve your physical health but also your mental health. Before getting pregnant, my husband and I wanted to do one last adventurist trip, and we chose the Inca Trail in Cuzco, Peru. Oh my God, what did I get in to?!
It was June 2007, and in order to prepare for the Inca Trail we did a lot of hiking here in beautiful Colorado. We did one 14er and probably my last one. We walked and walked and hiked and hiked just to be accustomed to the intensity of walking for 3 entire days on the trail. If I knew what was waiting for me, I probably would have trained differently. But it is done, and I survived.
We planned this trip for months. We invited three other couples on our adventure to know more about my country Peru. We contacted a travel agent and got everything set up. In July 2007, we arrived Lima, stayed a few days there to see my family and headed to Cuzco. Cuzco was having some protests going on, so we had to be more careful than usual. Our friends all went in different tours, but the tour we chose had these other 2 ladies from Australia with backpacking experience.
On Thursday July 12, 2007, we started our hike. I thought we were just 5 people: my husband and I, these 2 other girls, and the guide. I was wrong; we had more people called the Sherpas to bring everything else like tents, food, gas, chairs, tables, water, etc. I have to say that the Sherpas were amazing. We were all starting to walk and all of a sudden they literally disappeared. They did not walk or hike; they ran! In their thin, open shoes! Very impressive.
What a feeling I had that moment when we knew it was time to start. Little did I know that I was already pregnant. I have never in my life had that kind of adventure, so I was hoping for the best and safety for all. It was very early in the morning when we started. We all carried backpacks with our clothes and water. The backpacks were heavy, but it was doable to walk with them.
The first day was amazing. I got to see so many beautiful places, ancient places, so much culture and so much of nothing at the same time. It felt like a dream for me, not just because of what I saw but because I never thought I would do something like this. We all had our backpacks and walking sticks, but my backpack started getting heavier and heavier after the hours went by. I wondered, “How can I walk 3 more days with this?” So I made an executive decision, LOL. I asked one of our Sherpas if he could carry my backpack for me, and I would pay him later. He told me that it would be 60 dollars, thinking he meant 60 dollars a day. But no, it was 60 dollars for the rest of the hike. Totally worth it! Oh my God, what a great deal. I got the money, and I became lighter.
We walked and walked for many hours. I usually was the last person of the group to make it, but my guide was extremely patient with me. What was amazing for me was that when lunch time was approaching, the Sherpas already had everything set up, tables, chairs, shelter and the wonderful food. They really made the food tasting and looking delicious. My body was hungry, and I really enjoyed each feast.
After lunch we started again on our long walk while the Sherpas would pack everything and run ahead of us to be ready for dinner time and bed time. We kept walking that first day. I heard that we were going to go to bed around 7pm, and I thought that was extremely early, but by that time of the day, we were beat up and so ready to go to bed. Our tents were already set up with our sleeping bags, etc.
The next day was Friday the 13th; I found that out while writing this blog. Thank goodness because that day does not sound good with this kind of adventure. The second day was brutal; everything was going up, and while I trained a lot in Colorado hiking, something I did not do was to go up and down stairs. I spent the majority of that first part of the day complaining why I did this and questioning if I would make it through. My guide kept telling me that I had to do it because there was not a way back. After lunch, I felt better just knowing that there were just a few more hours until I would be sleeping again. And I heard too that the third day would not be as bad as the second one.
The bathroom situation was not the best. We just had holes on the floor to do our business, but I remember one day just walking on the trail and seeing this woman come out from what I thought was the hole bathroom, and she opened the wood door. Yay! I saw a toilet. It was a private bathroom for that house, but I still approached the woman and told her I would pay her 10 dollars just to go and use the bathroom as a normal person should, LOL. What a pleasure to be seated on a white, cold toilet.
The third day was great. We were all excited that our adventure was almost done and that the next day we were going to finally see the amazing Machu Picchu. We just walked, talked, ate, and took many, many pictures. What a blast! The experience of just being alone in those mountains with no distractions of modern life was, to be honest, amazing.
Finally, the next day Sunday July 15th, 2007 we had to get up around 4am to make it to Machu Picchu at around sunrise. All these days we got up with our mate de coca tea already prepared by the chef. We were so spoiled and taken care of. We were treated like kings and queens, in spite of just peeing in a hole, LOL.
So we started walking to our final destination. We took so many pictures and kept looking at we all we had seen in magazines, photos and movies. But just seeing far away we couldn’t believe that we were that close. We finally made it! What an accomplishment for me. I literally couldn’t believe it, but what was even more amazing is the beauty I had in front of my eyes to the point of tears just because it was that beautiful.
That hike made me be grateful for nature, grateful for endurance and most importantly grateful for the love that was there. You can feel the energy of that place just being there hugging you, telling you, “You will be fine.” What an experience! Back then I was not as spiritually awoken as I am now, so I think if I would do this again it would be even more powerful.
This blog might be not as interesting as others or as controversial, but I just wanted to share with you one of my more important adventures. Just pushing myself a little bit more from what I thought were my limits was amazing, so because of that my husband has planned an easy backpacking trip of 3 days here in Colorado, just flat walking but plenty of hours to push through. I am excited about it and also a little worried, but I should do it. I just have to remember that feeling from the past. I will be journaling through this trip coming up in June to share with you.
Don’t forget the amazing feeling of accomplishment