That moment when you dream about a place almost all your life, and nothing goes as you imagined. This was my challenging Peru trip.
The whole month of September, I will share 30 stories with you. One story each day. You will find out how I travelled, what countries I called home and how many times I repeated a travel in the same place. But most importantly, you will get to know my comfort zone stories. Would you share yours?
Peru was the one place I wanted to go to since I was a kid. The moment I learned about Inca and Maya civilizations I was hooked. I had to visit Machu Picchu, and I have a separate article about it. Back then it seemed like wishing to go to Mars, my trip to Peru, and yet, I made it happen. It was during the over 8-month solo backpacking trip through South America. I visited Peru in April of 2018 and my long trip was slowly getting to an end. It’s ridiculous how intense the one month spent in this South American country was. I did probably the most getting outside of my comfort zone.
* went to a chocolate class and made my own chocolate
* ate guinea pig and hated the taste
* drank my first Peruvian beer
* danced on a stage with a guy wearing a mask – I honestly don’t remember when I danced last time
* went to see Q’enqo the labyrinth used by the Incas for ceremonial purposes (just 40 minutes up from my hostel and I thought I am not gonna make it)
* I’ve seen the white Jesus viewing point
* went on a motorbike for the second time in my entire life, also the crazy traffic in Cusco was a bonus
* bought my train ticket for Machu Picchu – becoming more broke day by day!
* ate some delicious spicy wings – and I don’t eat spicy food
* drank tecito machito (Te Macho) – give me all the cinnamon!
* went to bed after midnight – take that regular Alina!
Little I knew challenging Peru will also be the country that made me suffer the most. I barely made it to Machu Picchu, I got altitude sickness countless times. Basically, I had legit panic attacks because of the insane roads and the very unsafe driving of the buses. I was also harassed on the street in the main square in Lima. In addition, I woke up in a mixed dorm with a naked guy (!) and I encountered bed bugs. I also decided to take a plane to a more Northern city because a bus got robbed at gunpoint one day after my travel.
When was the last time you thought you’re gonna die? What were the circumstances and how did you feel? Yesterday I went with a bus from hell. I thought we’re gonna roll over at least 10 times. I was trying to calm myself down and be at peace with the fact that I might die. Honestly, I don’t scare easily, but that was one horrible way to travel. For 7 hours.March 30th, 2018
I can’t stress this enough though: it is not the country’s fault. I dislike it so much when people who have had a bad experience somewhere, just tell others not to go there. The end. So whenever I am asked about Peru – I do let people know about the dangerous driving of the bus drivers and the poor infrastructure and I mention I haven’t always felt safe. But I make it my point to emphasise that was my experience and others might have had a different one.
Unexpected Challenging Peru
The most shocking thing was the energy I felt in some visited places. I haven’t felt that energy in any other places in all of my travels. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not sure how to explain this because I am not a very spiritual person. What I know is that there was a serenity surrounding some places and I felt like I have been there before. It happened in Machu Picchu, even though there were so many other tourists, the calmness of the ruins surprised me. And then, it happened again on the Taquile Islands on Lake Titicaca. And finally visiting Colca Canyon. In each place, it was crazy busy with tourists yet, the peacefulness that came with it was powerful.
My trip to Peru ended with a funny and wacky experience of making it to Ecuador, being my second time walking between two countries. Remember the Paraguayan trip? And so stepping into Ecuador everything changed. More about that in the next article.
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