Machu Picchu Backpacking

I’ve been having so much fun road-tripping around the world that I haven’t sat still long enough to blog about it! It looks like I’m back in the real world though. Time to try my hand in the blogosphere again.

I just returned from my Machu Picchu backpacking trip in the Peruvian Andes. I have to give the trail props, it was almost as difficult as it was breathtakingly beautiful. The trail had two 14,000 passes that turned my sea level lungs anaerobic in no time. I found the challenge exhilarating, the clean air refreshing, and my peers supportive, like teammates.

Sol Fitness Adventures Inca Trail Trek: Machu Picchu, Peru was a trip that tested everyone in different ways. Altitude proved to be the outward catalyst that released inward true colors. Some individuals caved to the mental psyche-out and never ventured to accomplish what they’d come to do. Others broke through mental barriers and fears, persevered in spite of splitting headaches and gut-wrenching nausea, or overcame real physical obstacles such as macular degeneration without uttering a complaint.

The true test of the trip for me didn’t seem to be as much physical as it was mental. Weeks before the trip I left my home of 6.5 years and quit my job at the fitness studio to start over in the west. Exactly where in the west I do not know. Anywhere the sun shines, I can work hard, and play even harder.

I arrived in Cusco with a lot on my mind. But I didn’t want to waste my thoughts projecting into the future. I determined to start each day with a healing visualization and set an intention with the help of Chaitanya, my yoga shaman, that I remain open to the goodness that Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and Peru had to offer. The combination worked (being an eternal optimist helps). My mind was open and I found myself utterly present, not only during those 14,000 foot passes, but for the entirety of the trip. Thank you Pacha Mama!

Click for pictures of Sol’s 2009 Machu Picchu backpacking trip.

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