Happy Day my friends! Well as usual I’ve been running around like a crazy person getting ready for our trip to the Midwest this coming weekend. I know… FUN!!! I can’t wait! Before we leave on a Jet Plane, I thought I’d share a fun story.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog lately and thinking a lot about all you. I often hear from you all how much you love hearing my crazy stories and you want to hear more like Russel and Dark Knight, or the Egg Mystery or even My Massage Mania. I absolutely hate to let you down, and so I thought I would start a regular series bringing you all those fun stories called “Adventures of Alli”
For the first story, I thought I’d tell you about the time I was in Peru by myself and decided to go horseback riding. Yeah, what craziness could come of that right?
First, I think a little background on how I got to Peru is in order. It was almost four years ago now when my bestie and I decided to go on a girls trip to Peru to hike Machu Picchu. I had a 9 month old at this point and realized funding was going to be challenging. After talking it over with the hubs, we decided that in order to make it happen, I would put money away each paycheck to buy my plane ticket (the most expensive part). It was at this point that most of the girls in the group purchased their flight and then purchased the hiking adventure that would take 4 days to hike up to Machu Picchu. EXCITING! It took me a few months to save the funds and so the very day I had enough saved, bought my plane ticket!!! WOOH! When I called to book the hiking adventure, the group informed me they were full… WHAT? There has to be a way to make this work? I had friends that spoke spanish call down to plea with them. NOPE, its full!!! At this point, my stomach was in knots. I don’t want to go to Peru and not be with my friends! I don’t want to go to Peru and not see Machu Picchu! Oh my gosh, this SUCKS!!! After a ton of calling, fretting, and crying the hubs decided it was time to cut our losses and move on! Saddest girl around!
Fast forward to 2 days before the flight was leaving , and I get a call from my bestie… “Alli, do you still have your ticket to Peru? One of the girls hurt her ankle and can’t go. Call and see if you can take her place” OH MY GOSH! The next morning (the day before the trip), and talking it over with the hubs the night before, I call to find out if I can switch with her. Language barrier still an issue I wasn’t exactly sure, but we did find out that the in the case I didn’t get on the hike I could still meet the girls on the morning of the 4th day taking a train and bus up to Manchu Picchu. So really I would only be by myself for 2 and a half days and most of the time with my friends. So it looks like I’m headed to Peru tomorrow! HOLY COW. With one day to pack for possibly hiking or not, I packed what I could and was on my way!
Long story short, once we got there, I found out that I couldn’t get on the hike with them, but was able to implement plan B to meet them. We had a number of adventures while we were there and I plan on sharing them with you in future posts, but today I was thinking about one adventure in particular. The girls had left on their hike that morning and so I was off that to have my own adventure. I walked into town having a few ideas in mind.
The last couple of days when exploring around town, I had noticed this beautiful statue up on the hill. Was it a cross? Hard to tell. Well heck, I’m going to hike up there and find out. The air was thin in Cusco and so with a little less oxygen, I huffed my way through the cobble stone paths and found my way almost to the top. This was when I was approached by a man who asked if I’d like to go horse back riding. What I should point out is that horse back riding was on my list of things to do while the girls were gone and so it felt very serendipitous when he came up to me to ask. Now that I’m writing it out, sounds kind of shady. OH BOY!
In any case, after some negotiating, I decided to go for it. Only $10! I jumped into a car (again, now that I’m typing it out, sounds pretty shady ***I so have my nervous giggle going right now trying to tell you this *** Okay, so I jump into a random guys car and it takes me to the top of the hill. It is there that I get out next to an open field with some run down homes and not a whole lot going on. The guy who had sold me on riding horses is still with me and directs me to follow him. We start walking through the empty field to a dirt path tucked in between these run down old fences. It is at this point, I started to think, this is how all kidnapping movies start, stupid tourist. I reluctantly continue following him all the while looking back to the empty field to see if there is anyone anywhere that can see me and that I can call to in the case this turns out bad. Well, there wasn’t anyone and so I made the guy walk really far in front of me so that I could turn around and run if I see anything weird going on. That is when he turns into this area and lo and behold there are horses and people.
I’ve never been so happy to see those strangers in all my life. *** Oh you can see the statue in the background***
After a deep breath, he directs me over to a horse he has picked for me and introduces me to a young woman who will be my guide. He helps me up on the horse and we’re off up the same tucked away rundown dirt path continuing up the hill.
She was a delightful young girl who told me about how she was in Peru on an adventure as well and became a guide to earn some extra money. She talked about the ruins we were headed to and the history behind them. About 15-20 minutes we come up on these ruins. I dismount the horse and she directs me to explore. I start exploring the ruins build into the ground and out of rock. On the other side of the ruins was this magnificent field and it was full of yellow butterflies. I had this weird calmness come over me at this point. I was thinking of my Grandma and how much she loved yellow butterflies. It was at this point, I thought that My Grandma is looking over me, it is going to be ok. After enjoying the peace for a few minutes I start to walk back to the girl who’s waiting with our two horses. She mounts her horse with ease and I look at her with a bit of anxiety. The guy had helped me up before, I don’t think my little legs will get up on my own. *** OKAY if you are my family and reading this, you may not want to read any further because you’re going to freak out! Fair warning***
It was at this point, my genius that had gotten me into this crazy adventure thought, why don’t I go over to the big rock formation and use that as a step stool to get on the horse. Well, when I put my first foot into the saddle and pushed off to swing my other leg around, the saddle which apparently wasn’t tightened properly, shifted around the horse and I fell backwards onto the rock. I hit the rock on my lower back (top of my butt) In shock, within a few seconds I became very worried that I just did something really bad to myself. The guide is freaked out at this point and hysterically trying to assess the situation. I roll off into the grass and do a quick assessment of whether I’ve broken anything and if I can still move body parts. After a few minutes I get up eyes filled with all kinds of tears, I immediately feel my body tighten up and become very very sore. The guide flags down another guide who was passing by the area. Speaking in Spanish very fast I gather she explains what happened. He immediately comes running over to me to make sure I’m ok. Not sure I should get back on the horse, I’m trying to figure out how I can get back. The best bet was to get back on the horse and take it back to the stables. At this point, all I want to do is get back, take an advil and go to bed, but I was pretty far away from our hotel. With his help, I get back on the horse and ride it back to the stable. I think the poor guide was equally as shook up as I was and kept asking how I was as we made our way back to the shady stables. Once I got back to the stable, all I wanted to do was to get out of there. I say my good byes and begin to walk. I realize at this point that I’m not too far from the statue that started this whole adventure off in the first place and so I walk toward it. Trying to put the pain out of my mind, I hike my way up to find that the statue I thought was a cross was really a Jesus statue.
It was a lot of mind over matter at this point and so after admiring the spectacular statue, I slowly make my way back down the hill. Once in town, I stopped once to grab some dinner and a very large beer and then back to the hotel. It was at this point I called the hubs to share what had happened that day. P.S. Never good to tell a husband whose a million miles away how you got thrown off a horse in a foreign land. I assured him I was okay and that I thought it was just bruised. He did what he could to calm me down and then we said goodnight. A hot shower and a sound night sleep the next day I woke up not too sore believe it or not, but most definitely had the largest bruise EVER.
Lessons learned… Don’t be stupid when you’re travelling alone. Listen to your gut, don’t forget travel insurance, and sometimes a very large beer can make you feel better =)
P.S. I’m pretty sure my Grandma took off after the butterflies and the ruins because there is no way she would have let me get hurt. Or she’s the reason I wasn’t hurt worse! =)
Okay, more Adventure of Alli coming soon. Maybe next, I’ll tell you about the time I made out with a guy from Baywatch… was it “The Hoff”????