Somewhere on the way to Machu Picchu…
I’m exhausted and drenched in sweat and in spite of all those motivational quotes I’m trying to remind myself of about keeping on going when you are going through hell, I’m ready to admit that this particular hell is just a little too overwhelming for me. My blood is completely depleted of sugar and I desperately wish I hadn’t packed so much crap in my backpack even though I know I have only packed the absolute essentials.
I look up the winding path and feel a pang of jealousy as I see the others disappear into the thick cover of vegetation around a bend and the sight suddenly makes all my efforts seem even more futile. I collapse on my knees and as a sneaky wave of nausea surges towards my mouth, I consider giving up chicken meat for good because it has just cost me one of the most unique travelling experiences of my life; reaching Machu Picchu on my own.
A Few Days Earlier…
“Hey Nav, these guys are planning to go to Machu Picchu on their own,” beams Nick, the holistic Dutch traveller I met some time ago in the deserts of Chile. We are sitting around a bonfire in our hostel’s yard sinking beers and as is the norm in most hostels, everyone is discussing what the area’s best sights are and what are the most cost-effective ways to see them.
“Really? I didn’t know you could go there on your own.” I ask the bearded, guitar-toting Spaniard Nick has been talking to and he says they don’t know if it can be done but they are going to try anyway, and that we are welcome to join them if we want.
We have been staying at the hostel for a few days now waiting for Nick’s foot (which he hurt in a fall in Bolivia) to heal and we have been reluctant to join a group of strangers on one of the organised tours to Machu Picchu where he may struggle to keep pace. Now presented with the opportunity to tackle the hike with a bunch of people we know and get along with, we look at one another and we both know the sides of us which crave the unusual on the road have already made the decision for us and so a few beers later the gang is formed; two French couples, Mikel, Danni the Brits girl, Nick and I.
We stay up late, reminding each other all the while that we best get to sleep since we have to make an early start the next morning and when I do finally go to bed, my head is filled with the taste of booze and a gut feeling that I’ve just signed up for something that’s going to be either a great adventure or a spectacular failure.
* I’ll be publishing the Part 2 of this series next week, Please Follow to get the link to second part Emailed directly to you.