Monday, July 2nd, 2007
Today was a fascinating day. Today we went to Pumamarca - the Temple of the Puma - the Mountain Jaguar.
They told us that for those that wanted the hike, they would drop them in a certain place, and get the rest of us "as close as the road would allow..." - well, the "road allowed" us ALL to be dropped in the same place. And you could SEE Pumamarca from where we were - a very long ways away - and nearly STRAIGHT UP. This made the major first day hike of Pisac look like a baby hike.
Now - my body CAN do the hiking... sure, I may get sore - but who cares! It's ancient Inca temples!! My problem has been getting a deep breath at this altitude... today we were at 10,500 feet. And I started out strong with everyone... and then I got further and further back in the group - until, I thought I was at the end. And I just had a completely involuntary crying spell hit me. I was just pummeling myself - "how could you be so weak... there's a 60 year old woman up there, 2 girls with more weight to lose than you....."
And I was just tearing into myself - really crying. And around the corner behind me comes... the older woman and the 2 large ones.
I pulled myself together and tried to hide my breakdown. (There were others that were having a very hard time breathing too.) And on we went. Some of them moved ahead - some from the group that had been way ahead of me fell behind. About halfway up the mountain (as about 6 of us were a ways back from the other 25 or so) our guide stops us - and we can hear the beautiful sound of galloping horses. They had called in horses to take us up the mountain!
But, it was a bittersweet, double edged sword for me. I had wanted to do it. But I knew - I HAD to accept the help. And it was an amazing ride up the mountain. I rode up on Pepe - a beautiful medium sized white horse. I had ridden horses when I was younger, but on the flat, plains lands of Texas - never up a STEEP mountain! THAT was amazing!!
Everyone said we looked so cool and majestic coming into the temple on the horses the way we did. And looking back on it now... I am very, VERY happy I got to ride the horse, it was a wonderful experience. At the time, I felt a bit defeated - but I shouldn't have. I wish I had thought to have someone take a picture of me ON the horse! Maybe tomorrow I will find someone who did who will email it to me.
In the temple we did a despacho with the Shaman's, and Alberto was sitting with us. He always explains everything so well, and throws in a well places joke or two. It was just really enjoyable. Apparently there was some sort of biting fly there though - I have found at least 4 odd red dots on my arm! As long as they don't itch, I am happy! (Update, there was 5 total, and the darn things DID start to itch. They have almost faded now though, thankfully!!)
Today we received the rites of the Day Keepers. They were truly beautiful. The day keeper rites mark you not only as stewards of the land you simply live on, but of the entire planet. It was just wonderful. And I swore I kept hearing whispering during the entire ceremony.
I walked all the way DOWN the mountain on my own, which made me feel very good. (My hip currently HATES me for it though!) Breathing is easy when you are descending... and I knew my BODY could handle it.
Tonight at dinner - I had a REALLY intense, odd dizzy spell. SO - I am going to take it easy, and get some sleep!! (A good friend I have made - Lorene, MADE me inform the medic... he told me to carry a lighter pack tomorrow, and checked my oxygen levels - which were okay... I KNEW it was not altitude sickness... I have been a very good girl and have been drinking lots of water!) Until tomorrow!
Posted Date: : Jul 10, 2007 8:07 PM