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Part 6

A view




A trip to Peru

Part 5: Awake above the clouds

Sometimes I trekked with others, getting to know them. And each one was amazing in her or his own unique way. Sometimes I chose to trek alone, moving in solitude at my own pace, in my own way.

What happened to me over those days? Partly it was because of the rhythm of the trek, the physical exertion, the cool in the shade of the mountain or the shadow of a cloud, the warmth of the sun, breathing the thin cool air, seeing deer coming down the mountains, Kara Kara eagles soaring, purple orchids, cycads, ferns, mosses, and pastures with llamas.

Partly it was because of the things that were absent - the cityscape, the traffic, the computer and the television and the job and the schedule and the routine and so on.

Partly it was the spirit of the Incas, to walk their path, to see the incredible places where they built their exquisite stone structures, their mastery of terracing and irrigation. Gradually a quietness grew within me, a quietness that opened my senses and my heart, like the darkness that let the stars blaze through.

Those mountains were worshipped by the Incas, and I thought I understood why. I began to know the power of those mountains. Those slopes, you feel their power in your legs and lungs. So imposing in space, compared to the insignificant trekker. Equally imposing in time, existing with a silent solid patience while a human's life flashes like a campfire spark, while mankind's civilizations drift through like clouds in the valley. Strong beyond measure, standing against the seasons and storms that can round the edges of the slopes only ever so slowly.

The mountains lifted me up, physically and spiritually. I would awake above the clouds, looking down on them in the valley as daybreak neared. And the Inca presence is still there.

Alone early one afternoon, I stopped at a series of Inca wells where the water still flows and tiny horsetails grow.

I had a more profound appreciation of the deep understanding the Incas had of that world, which allowed them to design wells that still function perfectly, hundreds of years after you are gone.

And stone walls unsurpassed in craftsmanship and standing perfect. And terraces that are used for farming today.

One of the best things about the trek was the guide. Stopping by some ruins and learning more about the Inca culture. There are wonderful surprises in the way they selected sites for their construction and designed their cities, in their communications and the participation of the citizenry. I will leave those treasures for you to discover, if you are interested.

Picture Page: A view to that other place

Part 6: Forever Young

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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