Show Me How Big Your Brave Is

I’ve never been athletic. I was never good at any sports, can’t run like my Dad, and have never dreamed of climbing Everest. I am, however, pretty adventurous. I’ve roasted marshmallows at the top of an active volcano, swam through a pitch black cave in Guatemala holding a candle, and rode a camel in the Israeli dessert. So while researching Peru I found out it was possible to climb Huayna Picchu, the iconic mountain that you see in every picture of the ruins. I read reviews and it sounded hard, and scary. My sense of adventure said it would be amazing, but my lack of athleticism said I should just skip it. Then Miranda said it is something she absolutely wanted to do. I felt a challenge for myself coming on.

I climbed the stairs in my building numerous times to prepare. The day before I left I climbed to the top, went back down, and climbed again, 100 flights in total. I felt ready.

Then we went to Machu Picchu and I actually saw this mountain I was supposedly going to climb and panicked. I really wanted to do it, but after what I thought was a tough climb to the Sun Gate, which is way easier than Huayna Picchu, I thought there would be no way I could do it. But I sure as hell was going to try.

We arrived at Machu Picchu early and climbed up to a good viewpoint to get a few pictures with sunshine in them this time!


Around 10 we went to the starting point for the hike. I started and thought it was pretty tough right away. I said I’ll go as far as I can and will be proud of however I do. (This, by the way, was a total lie I was telling myself in case I couldn’t do it.) The stairs were steep. There were parts you could hold on to a wire cable to help while going up. I was thankful for them. I stopped to take many breaks.

I talked to some people coming down and they said there was a platform before the peak that had a great view and going up to the way top is terrifying. I finally got to the platform and it really was a cool view.


I rested for a while ready to head back down, but then I decided to be brave. I made it this far. Why not go to the very top. I had to go up more crazy tiny stairs, go through a little cave, and climb a ladder. I did it and made it to the peak of Huayna Picchu!


I didn’t even take that many pictures at the top. I more just was taking it all in. For a lot of people this hike probably wasn’t all that hard, but for me it was huge and I felt a great sense of accomplishment.



I’m so glad I pushed myself to do this. I will never be an athlete or a great hiker, but I do know that when I make a goal for myself I can accomplish it.



“Brave” -Sara Bareilles

Categories: Peru | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Show Me How Big Your Brave Is

  1. Rand Brichta

    Way to go!!! You should very proud and accomplished.

  2. Tara

    Awesome job, Julie! Thanks for braving the mountain and sharing your amazing pictures and stories with us!

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