After breakfast we got transported to the zip lines which I chose not to do. Two reasons; Firstly I was still unwell (great excuse). Secondly I unfortunately had read reviews before I left & a lot of them had mentioned about how unsafe they could be, tourists dying as a result of not being shown how to strap themselves properly. I had already zip-lined at home a few times so I didn’t feel it was an experience I was missing out on.
Instead I got to chill in the sun watching eagles soar in the sky & listen to the squeals in the background. It also gave me time to let my stomach settle a bit more & force feed myself. The scenery was pretty too. It turns out that there are quite a few of these zip-lining places & by talking to others later on, the one we were taken to was quite a good one.
After this place we shared a bus with another group to Hidrolectica station where we split up. Our group made our way to a large restaurant where hammocks awaited us! We were early so we got to lie in the sun before our lunch was served & for a short period after. Amazingly enough I found myself able to try lunch. I managed a couple of spoons of soup then a few bites of the beef & rice dish. Both were lovely I would have liked to eat more than what my stomach allowed!
We then began our trek. Our bag-packs were heavy but as we were only to trek for a few hours it was manageable. We offloaded some of our goodies to local children once their parents approved. We walked along gravel & railway tracks, passing people with a lot heavier loads on their backs. Whilst it wasn’t as taxing as the previous day it was still a long journey. We avoided a few trains along the way too, giving us time to rest.
As we neared our destination of Agues Calientes we stopped for a short break. Another group came along & I was delighted to find that Mary, who I spoke to on the bus after white water rafting, was part of it. We had quick chat, comparing insect bites (some of her group were destroyed!) and giving advice about where to eat when back in Cusco.
As we walked towards the town, our guide pointed out the bridge where we would begin our final trek to Machu Picchu. He told us we would have to be up at 4am to make the opening at 5am. It should take an hour to make it to the top or that we could get a bus. We scoffed at this, stating that we would be cheating if we did that (in hindsight we should have!).
Agues Calientes is a very pretty town. It reminds me of ski resorts that I’ve seen in movies. We passed the five star hotel and made it to our lodgings above a Chinese restaurant. Out of our three nights this was the nicest stay that was offered. The wifi was great, beds were comfortable and the bathroom was the nicest we had seen since our arrival to Peru. I managed to eat dinner which was also a bonus as I needed my energy for the next day, the final day of the trek ….Machu Picchu
So last year I made the decision to try as many new things as possible and that has continued to this year! It made me feel great to do stuff I had never tried before and gave me a great sense of achievement. For so long I had felt low in myself, I doubted a lot of stuff about myself and my life that to actually do something I set my mind to and complete it, well that just helped build back up my confidence. I can do things by myself, I just needed a reminder.
These things do not have to be monumental huge events like climbing Everest or running a marathon (though they would be amazing, I know my boundaries!). They can be baking a cake or cooking a meal you have never tried before. Go for a walk alone or even to the cinema. Take that course you always wanted to try but keep telling yourself it’s not the right time!
For me I tried the following:
- A concert solo- ok when I booked a ticket to Brandon Flowers last year I figured it wasn’t too expensive if I decided not to go. The reason I booked was because I’m a huge fan and the last time he came I thought my ex would surprise me with tickets but he didn’t and it sold out. I always regretted not going. Also we went to a concert before and I basically was left alone as he went off to find a friend that went solo and kept him company instead of his fiancé! So I kinda had done it before. The concert was the night before I went to San Fran and I was a bit nervous going alone but it worked to my benefit. I got closer to the stage as the bouncers pitied me! I got to enjoy every minute as I had no one else’s enjoyment to worry about and no one was trying to talk to me. Great concert and I realised I would rather go solo than miss out on an artist I want to see again 👍🏼
- So my next thing was (as per my San Fran post ) testing out driving in America. I have to say I felt sick even though I am a confident driver. The highways are crazy, like 5-6 lanes and big massive trucks over taking you. I hated every minute of my first day driving, I couldn’t wait to reach LA from San Simeon so getting to the hotel was the best relief ever 😅. However the next day when we had a break I decided to give it another shot. I reasoned with myself that it was like being a learner driver and I just needed practice. So I continued to drive for the next three days. I drove up to Griffith observatory, to Venice Beach and then to Las Vegas. By then I didn’t want to return the car, I loved it. I didn’t give up and I easily could have. I got to see more of LA than I would have without the car and I now know I can drive on the opposite side of the road and survive!
- Horse riding was next. I always wanted to do this since I was little but never had the opportunity. My friend Kate sent me an offer of a 2 hour horse trek for half price so we snapped it up. When we got to the stables we got nervous looking at the height of the horses. Typical that we got put on the two biggest ones when we were complete amateurs 😂. The rest of the group had a clue what they were doing, I always seemed to be at the back of the trail. But I loved it! My horse was great and didn’t bolt. I was sore the next day but so happy I did it finally. I’m actually hoping to book to do it again this summer.
Ziplining- I booked this with my friend and my sister thinking it would be quick and easy. Not a bit! It was like an obstacle course in the trees. We went to zipit in Tibradden wood, Dublin which you book in advance. http://www.zipit.ie/welcome-to-zipit-forest-adventures/
I was the last of my group to start so they had gone on ahead before I had to do the zip line part. It took a few minutes for me to grow some balls, luckily no one was behind me! I finally did it and it felt great. It was a long line too. When it got to the other lines it got easier to throw yourself off the platform and trust the line will hold you!! Probably the hardest bit was at the end where you have to base jump to finish. My sister who is normally fairly balsey, nearly wet herself with fear! When we did it, we laughed at how silly we had been. We were totally safe in the harness, we just had to trust it
- Croagh Patrick is something that never crossed my mind. It was on my friends bucket list so I said F it I’d join him. It was a horrible day in August which is a pity as the views are amazing from what I’ve seen on Instagram. It also made it so much tougher climbing up with hailstones beating against you (yep i did say August!) and the rocks wet as you try to climb. However after nearly two hours of me moaning I reached the top! I realised that I didn’t give up, I stuck with it and I could do it. I swore I would never do it again, especially as on the way down I fell at least 4 times!! However I am thinking about it again as I feel like I missed out on the view 🤔
Finally the scariest thing I did last year was tell somebody that I liked them. This may seem immature to some but it was a huge deal to me. I always chickened out as I grew up. I don’t have the biggest confidence in myself and my last relationship made things worse. However I really liked this guy, to the point of babbling infront of him and my hands shaking when I was near. I’m a grown up ffs and it had to stop! So I did it, not face to face as I didn’t think it would be a good thing for either of us, but by message. I got a reply after what seemed like days but it was only hours and it was a positive response. It wasn’t anything definite but it gave me hope and made me glad that I did it. Nothing came from this, date wise, but I didn’t regret doing it. This guy I liked wasn’t repulsed that I liked him, which shocked me. It gave me hope that maybe I could find someone nice and they may like me too! Also I got an answer instead of hanging around wondering what if?. I finally began to feel like I was getting control of my life again 😊
So that was my new things of 2015! I have a couple of new things done this year so far but I have a list I still need to complete. Hopefully my trip later this year will tick off a lot of boxes so that I can fill you in.
Life is for living people, try new things. If you don’t like it don’t do it again. You have a choice, you are in control of your own path. Just have as few regrets as possible 😉