This is part 3 out of 3 of my four-day journey to Machu Picchu along the Inca Trail. Read part 1 here, and part 2 here.
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It wasn’t a majestic sunrise. There were no bright rays of light shinning through the clouds down on the path ahead of us. No red tones of ocre fading into the blue of the receding night sky. No clouds reflecting the light of the sun. It was just the light of day gradually replacing the darkness of night. The sun burned the way it has done for billions of years.
This was the same sun that the Incas once revered. The same sun that sustained their life as it sustains our own.
It was a morning like any other over five hundred years ago.
This is part 2 out of 3 for my blog series on my journey to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. Read part 1 here.
As I sit in front of my touchscreen desktop computer, the aroma of coffee lulling me and enticing me, I cannot help but feel grateful that I was able to make such an adventure come true.
Surviving the Inca Trail was not just about hiking for four days on my way to a world-famous destination. It was a pilgrimage through the last few remnants of a life where mother nature rules. There was no iPhone tower to check my Facebook feed (which I have quit checking for the most part), the bathroom facilities were painful to look at, and not to mention the rain, the bugs, and the cold. There was little of the artificiality that I am used to in Houston where at the touch of a button the cold is replaced by heat and the heat is replaced by cold.
If there is one thing I learned in Peru it is to be grateful for the life that I live. The memory of the trail might be hazy in my mind, and yet I can still feel what it was like to walk those ancient steps, to breathe the fresh Andean air, and to move through clouds.
After all, who doesn’t dream of walking on the clouds when they were a child?
The Inca Trail, depending on which company you hire to undertake the journey, is a 26 mile (43 km), 4 day and 3 night camping and hiking trip across the Andean mountains on the way to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. When I found out that this trail existed I knew I had to take it and that there would be no other way to make my way to Machu Picchu. Below you will find my impressions and thoughts on having hiked the Inca Trail in October of 2015.
I remember brown peaks covered in snow revealed themselves through the clouds. I am not sure whether the peaks were that tall or we were flying that low. Whatever the case may have been, I recall a headache since we left the airport in Lima where we “slept” because we did not see a point to getting a hotel for our six-hour layover. I also recalled a movie in which a plane crashes somewhere in the mountains and the passengers turn to eating one another to survive–fortunately this was not our fate.
So it was that below us, in all of their grandiosity, were the many stories of the Quechua. The excitement of the journey boiled deep within my soul, for I was about to join hundreds of other hiking enthusiasts in one of the most outstanding experiences of my life across the Peruvian jungle. I was about to make my dream come true and hike the Inca Trail to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
Above all, In approximately 48 hours I was about to wonder “what the f*ck did I get myself into?”
I want to travel the world. That is most certainly one of my dreams, goals, and aspirations in life. The Anthropologist in me wants to see how other people live and see the world. But sometimes, just sometimes, there is more to seeing the world than traveling and there is more to life than chasing after dreams. My recent trip to Anacortes, WA in which my dream didn’t come true is a testament to it. So, if you have ever wondered what to do if your dreams don’t come true, then stick around…
***This post was written in September 2015 upon my return from Washington state.
Well, here I am. I am sipping on a warm ginger-lime-honey concoction that has kept me more or less sane for the last 48 hours since my allergy symptoms went out of control.
Between coughing out a lung, emptying every Kleenex box within reach, and the nasty pressure in my sinuses, I have come to question whether my latest vacation has been worth it.