To celebrate the start of my body falling apart, I decided to go on an adventure…while I still could. When I was a little girl, I saw a story in National Geographic about an ancient Inca city in the clouds. I remember focusing on the images that went along with the text. The pictures showed a great city made of stone. Stone steps, paths, walls and windows. Each rock expertly cut to fit with the next. The place is Matchu Picchu. I desperatly wanted to see this place but I didn’t want to take a bus like many tourists. I wanted to come upon it like the inca’s people did so long ago. Instead of throwing a party to celebrate my 40th birthday, I decided to hike the Royal Inca trail.
This was the first day. It was misleading!! We casually strolled along the trial which meandered along the countryside. We hiked for about 5 hours this day.
The second day was about 5 hours as well, BUT it was all up the mountain. Due to the high altitude, my heart felt like it would beat straight out of my chest. My body hurt but my mind and soul soared. I’ve never seen such beauty.
Day one and day two were just warm ups. I had no idea what was instore for me on the third day. Clilmbing mountains were hard on my heart and lungs, but going back down killed my knees. On the third day we asended to the top of dead womans pass (about 14,000 ft) then decended only to asend again… then to decend…I felt like a achey yo yo. We did this all day of day three for 10 1/2 hours. I honestly did not think I was capable of such things. I amazed myself.
My legs started to revolt. My muscles hurt like never before. On the forth and final day we still had about 5 hours till we reached the sun gate. The sun gate is a stone gateway. Once you walk through it, you can see Matchu Picchu for the first time. After such a long trek, the site brought tears to my weary eyes.
The switchback scar is how the busses get up to Matchu Picchu.
I have had an idea in my head for these many years, since I was a child really, as to how amazing this hike would be. Usually when you create an ideal about how something’s going to be, you’re pretty much dooming yourself for disssapointment. This trip, walk, treasure hunt, pilgramage, trek and adventure proved to be more powerful then ideals. There are no words, there are no pictures that can convey the power of the trail and the beauty of matchu Picchu. I took paper, watercolors, pencils and ink pens with me on the trip thinking I would sit and draw what I saw. I drew nothing. I couldn’t wrap my mind around such an amazing place. It still hasn’t sunk in. I am in compleat awe.
The only thing that made this trip better, was experiancing it with my best friend and husband Glenn.