It’s not much for them to live on. It seemed like a hard life to me, but I also realized that they are further away from the cycle of consumerism that defines so many of our lives. They’re always with family and spend time with each other instead of looking at screens. Maybe it just seems hard to me. When that’s all you know, why would you want anything else?
This is the story of two wandering nomads that made their way into the Colca Canyon, hiked for three days in the heat, made some friends, loved the scenery, but ate way too little food. After three days of hiking, our nomads found themselves happily tired, starving, and ready to hike up and out of the canyon. This is also a story of awe, natural beauty, Incan mythology, and a canyon that houses many different worlds within its cliffs.
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.