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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Peru: Did I Really Agree to This?

I really can't believe this is happening, but I'm taking a trip to Peru this year.

Three days acclimating in the former Incan stronghold of Cusco, then a 4-day, 26-mile backpacking trip up the Inca Trail to the Machu Picchu. A relaxation retreat in the backwater Cloud Forest town of Aguas Caliente. Five days in the Tambopata National Reserve, on the edge of the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. What? Me? How is this possible?

(Map courtesy Wikipedia Commons)

I have never really been comfortable traveling long distances and have NO desire to really go anywhere again except maybe Poland once more, and Newfoundland/Labrador (but let's be honest, that's Canada, and Canada doesn't really count). One of my BFFs kept asking me to join her on a trip to Peru though, and since I was getting my usual late-winter ancy-ness, I told her I'd think about it. It was a camping trip up the Inca Trail, and she knew how much I liked camping. And yeah, I DO like camping. In New York. In the Adirondacks (I once went to the Catskills).  But South America? Umm...

Anyway, I began to half-heartedly pray about it (not that God ever seems to listen to me, and I rarely EVER get signs or inspiration of any kind, but I try anyway. "Answer me when I call to you, O my Righteous God... " Psalm 4:1, yes??)... and wouldn't you know, for the next couple days I would turn the corner in a store and BOOM. There's a huge picture book with Machu Picchu on the cover on display. BOOM. I open Bookpage magazine and there's a book with an Amazon River Dolphin on the cover. BOOM & BOOM & BOOM.

Sometimes I can take a hint.

I said Yes.

So in several months I will be up in the Andes Mountains and then down in the Amazon rainforest. In a totally different hemisphere. Hiking mysterious high ruins that are hundreds of years old, canoeing river filled with piranha and caimen.

Holy moly.

Some people thrive on travel. No issues flying, no culture shock, no anxiety. I'm not one of those people. But strangely enough, I'm feeling very excited and confident. My reading material and studying have given me so much to think about. I'm overloaded with all of the wildlife viewing opportunities and photos of lush green landscapes and tidy, terraced ruins and so much of it is already blowing wild ideas out of my head for drawings and paintings and sketches! It's kind of amazing. How can a person be so totally excited to go someplace she's never wanted to go before?

Crazy.

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