3.15.08 The Inca Trail Part 1
Five days have passed since I returned from my trip on the Inca Trailthat was last Monday night. Tuesday, I could barely make it up and down the stairs to my loft. I wasn't sure how long it would take before I could walk normally again. But after doing yoga Tuesday and Wednesday, I was back to normal. I have been pretty tired the last couple of days, so perhaps I am still working at regaining my strength.
Who ever told me I could do this? Well, a few people, and I believed them! I had no idea of what I was getting into. The walk was arduous, and just when I thought I could go no farther, there was a steep, giant pass in front of me.
But, as is always the case, the angels were sent to assist. For the second and third days, I was able to hire a porter to help. Even though I tried to pack as light as I could, all of those little things added upespecially the 2 mangoes. To have help with the load really saved me. The mountain we climbed on the 2nd day is called "dead woman's pass" to give you an idea of the severity of the steepness. What made it even more difficult was that a lot of the hill was made up of steps. I would look as I walked to find the shortest place to step up. I felt sorry for myself having such short legs, being sure that those with longer legs were having an easier time. (In truth, I doubt this is a factI don't think it was necessarily "easy" for anyone.)
So back to the angels. I was sitting along the side of the path taking a break with a few guys from Sweden when I hear, "Copperwoman, I was wondering who that stylishly dressed Gringa up ahead was." And there came, Tryphenaa woman from Eureka who I met years ago at the Women's Herbal Symposium and also a "friend-in-common" with my buddy Four Waters. She told me that when she met me, she bought my CD and has been singing my songs as they have sprung out of her in various appropriate situations over the years ever since. This was quite timely as I had been telling my new friends the night before about my songs and website and CD's. And there came living proof. They then referred to me as the famous Copperwoman.
As an aside here, I shall mention that at dinner on the second night, I couldn't go any longer without doing a bit of singing. I sang my Spanish song, "El Sol Esta en Mi Corazón" and did around of "Send You Love." It was fun to sing but I was the only one brave enough to get "out there" with a song. Did a round of "by the Rivers of Babylon" and Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" but fell short on the words. The next day Jerome, my French friend (who carried my excess baggage on the last day) admitted to me that he knew the words but was a terrible singer so he kept his mouth shut. He LOVES reggae music.
Anyway, Tryphena showed up just before the hardest part of the whole journeythat pass I referred to previouslythat is named so that you wonder if you will come out alive. We walked together and philosophized which helped to distract us from the task at hand. The breaks during this phase came more often and she stuck with me when I needed to rest. We chewed on our coca leaves praying for energy and continued to climb. There was quite a difference on this trip to have someone to walk with during the gruelling parts.
It is hard to see in the pictures the steepness of the climb. If you look at the picture below, notice the trail behind us and the other mountains to get an idea of what it was like to walk from the bottom.
After this picture, I backtrack to the beginning of the walk.