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