For my last weekend in Peru, I knew that I wanted to do something spectacular, so myself and some of my friends decided to go to Rainbow Mountain (aka La montaña de siete colores). A lot of my friends had already gone and their pictures looked amazing.
However, Mother Nature had other plans in store for us that weekend.
After a brutal 2 am alarm and a 4 hour bus ride, we made it halfway up the mountain where the hike starts. Did I mention that Rainbow Mountain is approximately 17,000 feet above sea level? However, due to icy conditions, it was not safe for our bus to continue up the steep roads. Sounds like a good start, right?
When we finally trekked all the way up to the start of the hike, it was clear that things were not looking so good for us. The ground was blanketed by fresh white snow and it was much colder than what our tour guides had told us to prepare for. Nonetheless, the head guide assured us that we would still be able to see the rainbow mountain so we trekked onward.
However, as we went further and further, the conditions only worsened and soon the snow and ice had gone straight through my ragged tennis shoes and through the light jacket that I had brought with me. At some points, we could barely see in front of us and the altitude was making it pretty difficult to breathe. But still, we kept going.
Eventually, we made it to the rainbow part of the mountain, which was covered in snow of course. It was a little disheartening that we had gone all that way for nothing, but in the end it was an adventure that I definitely will never forget.
The experience as a whole was definitely not exactly what I was looking for or expecting but I think that this final adventure in Peru really nicely summed up what it is like to travel internationally: sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t. The important thing is that you ride out the journey as best as you can and always remind yourself of the positive. Yes, I was cold and freezing. Sure, I couldn’t really feel my toes at the end and at some points I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But I definitely had the time of my life, with great friends, in a place that most people never even have the opportunity to visit. For that I feel blessed.
Peru taught me so much and I gained so much (knowledge, friendship, weight, etc.) along the way. If you’re reading this, I highly recommend that you go to Peru at some point in your life because their hospitality, scenery, culture, and food are unrivaled.