Snippets from the trail

December 17, 2005 – part 2:

Because it´s impossible to describe the travel thing in words, here´s a David Letterman approach….

18 Images & Thoughts From the Inca Trail

Going up is a lot more fun than going down!

Porters are superhuman. As well as gentle, diligent, always smiling and humble.

If you ever have, never – ever – again look down on anyone who uses walking sticks (da bomb)

What canto of hell are we in now?

Psalm 121. All of it.

Thank you thank you thank you Nautilus, Inc.

¨20 minutes…maybe 30…up…then flat…then down…¨ (tour guide snowing us with ¨Peruvian time¨ to allay our dread on the trail)

¨So let´s see…if we´re here…and want to get to that place straight across this huge mountain pass…then why are we going DOWN so steeply? Seems like they could´ve designed this a bit better…¨ (me, several times)

Food…food…more food…such as: quinoa, pancakes, coca tea, huge plates of rice topped with a cucumber or tomato carved into the shape of an exotic bird. All served in a tent in the middle of the Andean mountains!

Washing your hands in red bowls of freezing water and ¨drying¨the with thin, rough cloths hanging from the tent that never seem quite dry.

The privilege of hearing every frog, cough and snore within the campsite (ask me about the Seinfeld incident when I get home).

Thin …very thin…toilet paper. And squatting because the duress on your quads is far less egregious than the consequence of sitting.

Trying not to look too far ahead because it is discouraging…while at the same time, reminding oneself to stop and look around you so you don´t lose out on the majesty of your surroundings and why you are doing what you are doing, providing new depth and significance to the one-step-at-a-time approach to life.

Sharing the trail with llamas, horses and pigs.

Slithering around like Gollum to traverse the wet rocks.

Your only responsibilities being: get up to fresh air and mountains, coca tea and pancakes so you can walk amidst some of the most majestic places on earth. Oh yeah, and roll up your sleeping bag.

The beauty, strength and character of Peruvians forged by the harshness of the elements as well as their political and economic history.

The majesty and power of the land…and yet, Psalm 97:5