So, just a little update....photos to come at the end of the week to be accompanied by more information. Also, thank you so much for sharing in my journey! As of this morning there were over 1300 hits from the US, Germany, Peru and... Israel and Russia! :) How exciting! Just wait until you see the pictures.
Peru is the most wonderful place I´ve visited as of yet. I prepared what I could before arrival, but not wanting to have any expectations, I really just opened myself to the experience of whatever was to come. It has been beyond phenomenal. The burning lungs on the hike up to 15,000+ feet, the camping without modern facilities, the cold, the blisters, the Saturday I spent incredibly sick...none of those things could ruin the wonderful experience I´ve had. I spent 4 days hiking through Peru with the most wonderful people from all over the world and have made friends that I hope to keep for the rest of my life. I have spent days and nights speaking Portu-Spanglish (a combination of Portuguese, Spanish, and English due to the composition of my trekking group) while hiking kilometers and kilometers through the mud, ice, snow, strong wind, over more rocks than one could ever imagine, water, and jungle. I zip lined through the Andes at heights that no one should ever think about. I have not been lonely for a second. I have met and had conversations in several languages with people from all around the world at every stop along the way. I have learned that hiking downhill is far worse that hiking uphill, especially when you do so for six hours straight. I wish that I could stay longer and am currently planning my next trip to...anywhere in South America.
I changed my plans a bit to stay in Cuzco for the day instead of heading straight to Puno after visiting Machu Picchu yesterday. The drastic change in temperature along the hike coupled with the lack of sleep (mostly 4 or 5 AM wake-up calls), large amount of physical activity, and the busy itinerary have taken a bit of a toll on my body and I´m looking forward to spending this beautiful, sunny day in Cuzco visiting museums with some new friends.
Lesson learned-do what you love as much as you possibly can. You will be happy, have wonderful life-changing experiences, and find your tribe. There will be many more adventures of this type to come...