Machu Picchu, Peru

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Machu Picchu, Peru

Conquering Our Fear of Heights to Witness Breathtaking Sights

Adventure from May 2012

The time had finally come…an experience we looked forward to well before entering Peru.  Even with two broken bones in my foot, I could hardly contain my excitement as we entered the interior of the minivan providing our ascent to the peak of a mountain eighteen miles from Machu Picchu where our memorable journey would begin.  We exited the vehicle with the rest of our small group to find mountain bikes lying on the ground of a viewpoint looking Machu Picchu, Peru Inca Trail Trekkingover the valleys carving through the vast mountains.  I remember gazing down on the winding roads wondering if we were truly about to embark on the first leg of our excursion, placing every bit of my faith in the two wheels I had secured beneath me before venturing down the road.

With the wind screaming through our hair and tears streaming along our faces in the briskly refreshing air, we raced along the twisting road, each curve providing surges of adrenaline coursing through our veins.  After beginning our journey utilizing every ounce of warm clothing in our backpacks, we reached the base of the mountain to find warmth and humidity compelling us to strip the coats from our backs as we gazed up the steep mountainside.  A slight grin stretched along the left side of my face as I remembered the single instance my rear tire had skid slightly along the loose gravel at the road’s edge, nearly leading to my final destination of resting peacefully in the depths below.  I dare to admit, I had nearly screamed frightfully similar to a three year old girl opening her favorite Barbie doll gift on Christmas morning.  Luckily, only Jessie had been close enough in proximity to hear my shriek of delight and fear blended into a mixture of blissful enjoyment.Aguas Calientes, Peru

It wouldn’t be until our second day of our three day tour I would begin to feel the true experience of the Incas braving a similar trek.  A lack of oxygen in the air courtesy of our high altitude rendered me nearly incapable of accomplishing our first steep climb along the narrow walkway leading us to the beginning of a harrowing hike through what I could only assess had survived a recent landslide.  I gazed ahead at the others in our group before carefully placing each step on a path few would dare to tackle.  My eyes traced up the mountain to my right as I
rested my hand into the loose earth before routing my attention to my left and feeling my knees lock at the thought of tumbling down to the base of the massive incline.  I could only reclaim my breath and continue forward with my broken foot leading my continuation before reaching a resting point allowing my slight anxiety a moment to release.  Rarely had my sphincter constricted to such an extent.

The heavenly relief of reaching our next destination will not be forgotten.  As we neared the sight ahead, I nearly cried as I looked upon others already relishing in the comfort of natural hot springs providing much needed relaxation for their taxed muscles.  Only during times of intimacy with my love had I ripped the clothes from my body so quickly, thoMachu Picchu, Peru Stairs to Huayna Picchuugh my swimming suit hiding what God gave me was never part of the plan during those instances.  I stepped into the steaming water with a near orgasmic sigh of contentment, allowing my broken foot and aching legs to bask in the soothing water as long as our guide would permit before enjoying our next satisfying dinner.

Following a long, tiring, enjoyable day of trekking through some of Peru’s most famous mountain views allowed us the opportunity of resting peacefully in a comfortable bed with a hot shower in the small town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu.  I truly can’t remember a shower capable of delivering such incredible comfort while finding gratitude in understanding I had I pushed past the discomfort of my foot to reach our final destination.  Those resting in the room next to us must have assumed a passionate night of love making had already begun as I moaned and threw my head back in response to the shower head pulsing hot water against my fatigued body.  The next morning, however, would hold my greatest reward.

Machu Picchu, Peru Jungle TrekI awoke with intense excitement, barely capable of finishing my breakfast before making our way to the bus leading us up the famous mountainside of Machu Picchu.  With an aching foot and rainy weather dampening a possible hike up to the well-known site, the bus allowed me a welcome option to enduring such a climb before our long anticipated day.  I couldn’t help feeling the appreciation of saving my strength as we wound along the treacherous road to the ruins, staring from the bus window into the misty abyss lining our journey.

We stood abruptly in response to the bus slowing to a full stop at the site, stepping out into the wet ground and walking to the entrance.  As the clouds began to part and give way to the unfathomable sights of all Machu Picchu had to offer, our jaws dropped as our eyes widened.  Within moments we were hiking in the footsteps of the Incas, finding a new appreciation for those relentlessly overcoming a similar feet with less to accommodate their excursion.  Still, one obstacle remained…the hike up Huayna Picchu, where others had enjoyed views few others could dream of.

Machu Picchu, Peru Inca Trail TrekWe began our slightly distressing climb while attempting to avoid peering down at the rocky path below, fully aware of the outcome should we misplace a single step.  In the absence of handrails or proper safety according to normal western standards, I gathered what strength I had remaining and summited the impressive peak.  I gazed down on the ruins of Machu Picchu from a bird’s eye view before collapsing with Jessie in my arms, my foot screaming for relief.  We sat on an outstretched piece of rock normally capable of enticing goose bumps and gasps of shock, allowing our usual anxiety to settle.  A satisfying feeling of accomplishment began washing over me, paralyzed by the mesmerizing sight of what we had conquered.

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