So what does it feel like to hike at 5,000 meters? Slow, mostly. We were all breathing much more heavily than normal and Andrea got hit with a big headache. At one point, Andrea even said that she felt drunk: she was processing information more slowly, felt uncoordinated (try to put foot in one place, her foot ends up somewhere slightly different), and couldn’t think straight.
Having enjoyed sharing the travel experience with family before, we were super excited when my sister came to visit us in Peru during her summer break. Our two weeks together were full of adventure, unexpected twist and turns, breath-taking scenery, and lots of fun. Surprise after wonderful surprise captured a piece of my heart, that shall forever be left in Peru.
We fell in love in Colombia during our short visit and are confident you will too. From the massive Arvi Park in Medellin, to the impressive presidential palace in Bogota, to this hidden church by the Ecuador border, we were never bored and were constantly meeting friendly people.
We laughed, and laughed, and then laughed some more. I am still a bit dumbstruck at how easy it is to press pause and play with good friends. Time passes by and sometimes you don’t see each other for years, but when you press play again, it’s as if no time has gone by.
It’s funny how you can burn through all the major attractions a city in a day or two if need be, or stay an entire month and still not see it all. We only had 10 short days in Panama, but we filled them up well with beach, mountains and a big city!
Eventually, after a few missteps, we made it to Uvita. The bus station is not quite a bus station, it was more like a large parking lot outside a restaurant.There, we waited for a taxi to the jungle for quite some time, and made it to Selva Armonia just in time for sunset. s we were walking to the tent that would be our home for the upcoming weeks, it finally dawned on me that I was in the jungle. On top of that, I would be sleeping in a tent in the jungle. I am a city rat and this sudden realization made my heart skip a beat. As the last rays of light of the day faded away, we had just enough time to drop our things and get our flashlights out. As night fell, the jungle began to wake up. The toads came out, the spiders awoke, snakes surfaced, and I…. I… I freaked the fuck out! What had I done?!
We were greeted with blue skies, long lines for the money exchange house, scores of classic 1950’s cars, and all kinds of people making their way through the city. With no cell phone service, no WiFi, and no plan, we felt like we’d traveled back in time.
It is amazing how long-term budget travel changes your preconceptions of what’s a schedule, what’s a route, what’s a plan. We woke up that morning with no idea that we would be sleeping on a bus and waking up in a city bordering Belize the next day. That openness to change is both liberating and terrifying for someone like me who loves and finds comfort in plans.
The floor of the church was covered with candles in various stages of melting, eggs, soda, and copal, a native form of incense. Entire families were crouched on the ground praying aloud in Tzotzil, a local language belonging to the Mayan language group. The women rubbed eggs, soda, and other items over the bodies of small children to rid them of evil spirits.
It is impossible to be bored in Mexico City, there’s always something to be done. If you like to dance, you can be sure there are dance classes within walking distance of where you are staying. You like food? There’s a myriad of affordable and delicious places within a 3-block radius. Don’t feel like walking? Just wait on the street long enough and some tacos de canasta will come by. It’s always a pleasure to show my city to friends!