My first international trip with Run Like a Girl in Peru was just that, the first of many!
Meeting the RLAG ladies person for the first time in 2016 in Squamish was the start of a new chapter for me. All of the new activities opened up doors to really start living my adventure life. So, 6 months later when the ad for Peru and Machu Picchu came up – I knew I had to do it.
I’d never travelled to anywhere but Mexico alone so I was a little nervous. I was nervous about the amount of hiking and the altitude that so many people warned me about. I was nervous about being on my own and meeting the majority of my travel partners for the first time. I was nervous about being in a strange country not being able to speak the language or have any clue about the food they ate. I was nervous about not having the right gear, missing my husband and kids and dog and then missing me! You name it – I was nervous about it.
(To be honest – the thing that made me the most nervous was the idea of having to go #2 on the trail and carry it out with me!!!)
Arriving in Lima I logged onto the fb page and found where others in the trip were at. (Thanks to RLAG, all of us on the trip were added to a private fb group to communicate with). Scattered amongst the airport waiting for the next morning flight were about 7 of us – so I met up with them and waited for the flight.
Once in Cusco, it was easy to get to the recommended hostel where we were welcomed with Coca tea and English speaking staff, yay! Major worry – not to worry about. Our rooms were small but clean, comfortable bedding. My roomie was a girl who I met at the Squamish retreat and I seriously won the lottery here – I’m pretty sure she’s the kindest soul I’ve ever met.
In regards to the hostel The only thing that I was a little unsure about was that you don’t flush the toilet paper. You throw it in a garbage can. The idea of having this sitting there grossed me out but I later realized it’s like this in all of Peru- even the fancy hotel airport bathrooms!
After sleeping and wandering around to check out Cusco (our hostel was basically right in the most popular and easy to access main square), we all met in the lobby with the RLAG team and our WWE leader Kate and then headed to our chocolate making course.
When I saw this in the itinerary I was thinking – wtf are we making chocolate for? Shouldn’t we be scaling mountains and stuff?? How wrong was I. You need to chill and get acclimated so much more than I had ever thought. ANd most importantly, you need to get to know everyone in a setting like this before going off on any hike. It was sooo much fun! Everyone relaxed, laughed, grinded some cocoa beans and got creative with our chocolate.
Our first two days of hiking and sightseeing brought us back to the hostel every night which was so well planned. It gave everyone an idea of what the trail would be like and how eVeryone fell into the activity level groupings. The ruins we visited were amazing and the laughs we shared were even better.
The morning of the Inca Trail hike was unnerving. We were up early, everyone anxious to find out exactly what was in store. Getting to the trailhead and watching all the porters go by weighted down by our gear made us feel pretty wimpy with our little daypacks! The hiking was amazing!!!! We were surrounded by incredible views every way we turned, surrounded by kind support from our fellow hikers, guides and Rlag representatives. Everyone did it at their own pace among their group and not once did I feel like I would be left alone or that I was a burden on the quicker ones. The Porter staff I can’t even describe – our tents, meals, toilet tents, morning snacks, afternoon tea, warm water to clean with, fresh water to drink, Everything was provided and was awesome. The meals were incredible – options for everyone.
I could go on and on about the staff, the views and all the experiences but you really have to try it for yourself.
Hailey, Eduardo, Dana and Kate are some of the most honest and inspiring people I’ve ever come across in my life so having them organize and be present for this trip is 100% why it met and exceeded any expectations I could’ve dreamt up for this trip.
I can’t wAit to book my next Run Like A Girl adventure!!!!!!