I turn 27 today. I’m not really big into celebrating my own birthday. Afterall, we should be giving my mom the props for birthing my ass when she was in her 40’s (go mom!). I normally make sure I’m out of the country on my birthday as it gives me an excuse to ignore everyone and not have to have “birthday drinks” (bitch, I’ll drink regardless of my damn age). One of the most epic birthday trips I took was in 2013 when I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with my big sistah.
We first flew into Cusco. If you’re flying directly to Peru from the states, make sure you give yourself a few days to shit all the dust out. If you’re coming from Bolivia, though, you’ll be pretty acclimated to the altitude and know not to trust a fart.
My sister and I arrived a few days early so we could spend some time checking out the markets, bungee jumping, and learning how to make chocolate.
Definitely go to the chocolate factory. Definitely skip the bungee. I know it’s exciting because it’s the highest in South America but that shit was NOT safe and I damn near paralyzed myself. Legit, I couldn’t raise my right arm about my breast line which made the top knot process ROUGH.
When it was time to start the hike, My sister pulled me aside and said, “so where do we shower,” and I looked at my boo thang like she lost her damn mind. “Girl, we don’t.”
I’m very proud to report that three years later, my sister runs 250 kilometers in deserts all over the world, shitting in dirt like IDGAF. V V proud.
We decided to hire porters to carry all our stuff (although we didn’t have much), and if you’re considering the full trek, I would highly recommend going this route. You want to be able to enjoy the goddamn GORGEOUS scenery and peacefulness of Peru, and not be praying to drop dead so you can be airlifted down, you feel me?
So we hiked for four days. I know it was rough at times, but in hindsight, all I can remember was beautiful land and a lot of jokes with the most lighthearted Canadians from our group. Seriously, we were singing this song on repeat during the hike. I dare you not to smile:
I turned 24 on Machu Picchu and my sister gave me a crown and a jar of Nutella which was mad sweet, especially because our tour company was shoving exclusively soup down our damn throats. Like bitch, I need more than fucking BROTH to hike this shit. Give my ass a carb though.
The morning we trekked to the sungate and saw the sunrise over Machu Picchu was truly one of the most breathtaking moments of my life. Mostly cuz I couldn’t feel my legs and I was quite literally gasping for air. But like, also cuz it was pretty. Yes, you can definitely take the train from Cusco to the ruins, but when you hike the full trail, you appreciate the moment your eyes fall on the town so much more.
I told my sister that I wanted a semi-naked picture at the top. I wanted her to capture the photo of me from behind, where I would have pants on but be braless flawless, arms outreached, basking in my natural state.
It was very quick, in and out.
And. Fucking. Then.
A guard came over, yelling and slutshaming me. How dare I offend such a sacred space.
And look, at 27, I think what I pulled was pretty disrespectful. I wouldn't do it again because I am more aware and more conservative than I used to be (and also my tits are hanging just a TAD lower than they were three years ago). But I do want to point out that every single day, men are getting naked at MP, and they are not kicked out or slutshamed, so like, stop acting like I just strolled into Saudi Arabia in my G-string and nipple tassels, you feel me?
The guard threatened to kick me out but my guide was able to convince him to just delete the pictures.
So look. I have no photo proof of this, although I’m quite confident someone snapped a pic from a different angle. But I will tell you that it felt great.
We ended my birthday by hiking Huayna Picchu, that big mountain behind Machu Picchu town, and yes, that hike is as janky as people tell you. And yes, if you’ve got the balls, it’s awesome.
Thanks Peru, for an epic birthday. And thanks sis, for always having the Nutella!