Destination: Some Place Else

…to get away for if only a moment

9. Respect your pachamama

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Green endless Andes,
Bright blue sky.
Sitting on pachamama-
This could be just for me.
No one here,
Except the three of us.
So on ledge we watch, be still,
Be silent, be free.
Take in this moment,
Like it could be our forever.
No city pace, stress is a foreign thing.
Only nature’s sounds,
Waterfalls running,
Birds soaring above.
The trees dance with the wind.
We could be part animal, part
landscape, part of history.
This will be the place
I go when I can’t find
The stillness I should have in the daily grind.
12/1/14. 9.26pm

I truly believe that throughout your life you can be touched by such beauty that it can forever change you. Certain experiences make you grow, make you learn and make you want to inspire. Upon returning from a 4 night, 5 day hike to the Inca trail and Machu Picchu, and also visiting the Sacred Valley-this is my state of mind, body & soul and god it feels really good.

I have never in my life been so challenged by what lay before me. Everyday, our amazing guide Reynaldo, would point out where we would have to walk to for either our lunch spot or camp site and it just looked so incredibly far away and impossible to reach. In theory, it didn’t seem like a lot of Km’s to get through, but you don’t take into account the hills, the steps and the altitude. But as we climbed and climbed those thousands of steps, the will in me grew stronger and before I knew it we were there, looking back at the spot we had come from. The sense of achievement is overwhelming when it coincides with the absolute sheer beauty that surrounded us. Knowing that we went from 3,000 ft to 4,200 ft in a matter of days, is unbelievable. Sure, there were times when I was panting with lack of oxygen, when my legs were burning so badly from pulling myself up and down the largest of rocks, but that is why it was that more rewarding when we got to the top of the mountain. I can imagine the high five was invented in a moment like that.

Every day pachamama (what the Andean people call Mother Earth) would provide us with something new. She gave us rain- we did come in the rainy season, so not surprising. There was the light rainfall where at times I just had to stop and let it fall down on my face. I realised I hadn’t stopped and stood in the rain properly for years, I recommend it. Or she poured down so hard while we slept heavily in our tents from the long day. There was the most beautiful rainbows, waterfalls, sunshine beaming down on us and lighting the way for the day ahead. Snow capped mountains, endless green mountains covered with flora, hundreds of types of birds. I even allowed myself to be at peace with the insects- though my legs have a few mosquito bites to heal. Aside from this, seeing the many Inca sites was a privilege. You truly feel like you’re watching your very own live history channel.

It made me gain the hugest of respect for nature and it gave me the real realisation that we need to look after our Mother Earth- because without her we are nothing. Being outside, you see those four elements at play. Without water, there is no life. We need the earth to provide the soil that grows vegetation so we can breathe in the oxygen, our air. The fire can be from the sun’s energy. Without it, not only would we freeze, but we wouldn’t be able to breathe (you know the old process of photosynthesis, which allows plants to recycle carbon dioxide- see this is where science class did come in handy). All at play, if you really watch, it is magical.

I guess I sort of neglect taking the time to watch nature when living in the city. Of course if the sun comes out, I want to sit outside. But to really stop and watch and be at one with it, is a whole other thing. On a personal level, we can all do our part to try and slow down global warming – I know certain ‘experts’ assure us it does not exist, but you just need to see ice caps melting, glaciers receding and landscapes changing to believe it does. If only more bigger organisations would do their part……..ok I digress.

Being in Peru for what will be just over 3 weeks and spending time with the Andean people, has been a beautiful experience. Largely, because for most, this is a way of life; working with the environment or at least having a total respect for it. Whether it’s through offerings or farming, they love their pachamama and I think us other folk, can take a leaf from their book. So take a break from the tellie, Twitter and being connected and go outside, take your shoes off and just feel the earth between your toes- I promise you it can be much more rewarding than the latest Facebook news feed.

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