Peru exceeded our expectations. It over delivered on aah and wow! We took in the culture and wonder of this magnificent country. Our next to last stop on this trip was Machu Picchu. We saved the magnificence of this place for the end simply because at an elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level, we had to acclimate to its altitude.
One of the excursions I signed up for and paid for in advance through our travel advisor was climbing up the steepest side of Machu Picchu and then climbing down again. Sounded simple enough. Go up and come down! What we learned moments before fully committing to this excursion was this. In certain places on the trail, you have a margin of error of less than a foot between the surface you were climbing and the free fall below. No harness, no special safety equipment. Just your agility and self determination to make it up and down in one piece.
Literally, you misstep....you lose. They advised us not to look to the right going up or to the left going down. Stare straight ahead was the caution.
The advise we were given was go up and down on your belly crawling inch by inch to avoid falling off the mountain ledge. The Peruvians said this as casually as "the best rice cakes in town can be found on the corner of X and Y." It rains daily in Peru, your crawl is in the mud.
I looked around at my family and instantly knew money spent or not, no one in my clan was stepping one foot or belly on the side of that mountain. This climbing idea stopped being our great adventure at the words "less than one foot." The Incas have been climbing the mountain sides of Machu Picchu since the 1400s. When the locals tell me perhaps don't take the children up there, I believe them the first time.
I learned something that day. My inner voice said no before I could say no. I trusted this voice. It came from inside of me and I could not ignore it. Even if I over ruled it, I had to acknowledge it existed in me. This is the same voice Oprah taught us all to listen to. She promised the voice is never wrong. That voice to me is our HOLY SPIRIT.
So, I put a halt to any further thinking of scaling that mountain. My husband looked relieved. My kids at first asked why, but that was expected. To this day I believe that I made the right decision for me and mine. And if I did not, well I left it for Machu Picchu to decide.
Psalm 121:1-2 ESV I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Trust. Believe. Listen.