Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bucket List Checked: Peru (p.2)

Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent
working in the office or mowing your lawn.
Climb that goddamn mountain.
~ Jack Kerouac

We spent our first couple of days in the Sacred Valley, letting our sea-level bodies acclimatize to the 7,000 - 9,000 feet above sea level area.  But we didn't just lie around all day drinking coca tea, no siree, Bob...

We used to go rock climbing in a gym regularly, and so we jumped at the chance to get some real rocks beneath our fingers on this Via Ferrata:

The via ferrata consists of a series of steel cables and ladder steps bolted up a mountainside.  Your harness has two "straps" - each of which has a "clip" (carabiner) on the end.  As you climb, you always keep at least one of your straps clipped onto the cable.  You have two straps so that you can clip one onto the new stretch of cable before unclipping from the old stretch of cable.

Here we are - sandwiched between our two guides (Cesar and Patrick) - looking up before we start our climb:

And then the fun starts!  Look how small those cars are!

Most of this via ferrata had rungs, so there wasn't much climbing on the rock itself actually required - but I used the rock whenever I could (especially for my feet).

The scariest part was this "bridge" - two cables set about 4 inches apart for your feet and one cable for your hands - I wasn't sure I was going to make it across!  But I just kept repeating this mantra over and over again, until I was across,  "Go slowly.  Lean forward.  You can do it."

Look at us climbing above the Sacred Valley!  

One of our guides commented that he hoped that he and his girlfriend were still doing things like climbing together, when they were old...    It's getting harder and harder to feel shocked and indignant when people refer to us as old...  Sigh...  

We used a series of five zip lines to descend the mountains.  That was a first for both of us.  I expected to be pretty terrified (I hate the sensation of falling!), but it turned out that I couldn't really tell how fast I was moving on the zip line and so it ended up not being scary...  No pictures of that part - sorry.  

Bottom line - the climbing was a blast!  It was an awesome day!  :)


  1. Wow - looks like you are enjoying the great outdoors.

    1. Hey, BeaJay! Yes, our vacations are like the exact opposite of our day jobs - normally we are sitting behind desks, mentally stressed and physically unchallenged. It's great to get outside and move - enjoying nature and forgetting all about work! :)

  2. Gwen, you and Scott continue to amaze me - even at your "advanced" ages! Keep up the great adventures. We miss you guys!

    1. Hi Karren,
      We miss you guys too! And look who's talking about adventures, Ms. I-Wanted-To-Live-In-Germany-So-I-Made-It-Happen!!! ;)
      Thanks for stopping by to read about Peru... :)