My mundane existence was seemingly void of out-of-country visits for the better part of my life except for a few family vacations; it was time to step it up a notch. When it came to location, it had to be something exotic, but somewhere that people normally wouldn’t automatically think to go.
Peru, in my mind at least, is one of the most perfect destinations on the planet to venture to. It has so much culture, legends, mystery, and nearly every environment imaginable to explore. In a previous time when my young mind yearned for more information, I turned to ancient history texts or classic literature, and my personal studies brought me to the glorious Incan culture. The center of their empire culminated in what is now Cuzco, Peru, which is clearly visible in the facades of the numerous buildings jettisoning out from the ground. Perusing pages whisked me to the detailing of a feat meant for only the most serious of adventurers, a great hike, or mountain climb depending on who you ask. What did I do next? I put on my Indiana Jones hat, attached myself to a leather satchel, and elevated to several thousand feet in the air to find my inner archaeologist.
In the early hours of a December morning, with whimsical thoughts of the whirlwinds of snow most likely plaguing my home, my Aunt and I awoke to gather our things to be picked up outside of our hotel. Our guide, several porters, and a host of expectant journeyers awaited what was to come with fervent energy. All of us came from different walks of life, coming together to share in a mutually beneficial experience.
Traversing thin roads silently preluded the journey laid out before us, and as we arrived at the final destination where our vehicle was stationed, we exited to behold only the beginning of the beautiful sights. Crisp air, shooting spires of elegant rock, and a well-traveled trail loomed ahead of us. It was time to start our hike. One foot in front of the other led to premonitions of future leg strain, as inclines slowly increased, and large steps started dotting the surface of the trail. This was only the beginning though, and much more adventure was yet to come.