I’ve always wanted to see the sacred sites of the world and the first one on my list was Machu Picchu. When I graduated college in 1998 I bought a ticket to Peru and booked a private tour with a shaman. His name was Inti, the name of the Incan Sun God.  Inti took me and ten other people to many amazing places all over the country. It was a real planes, trains, automobiles, scooters, and boats experience. I had to poop in many open dug out holes in the ground during that trip, many areas of the country did not have modern plumbing at that time (probably still do not).  As we traveled around the country we stayed in quaint lodges, cement hotels and tents, each a completely different vibe than the next.  We flew over Nazca in a prop plane so flimsy I could tear it apart with my bare hands. This was the only way we could view the famous lines only visible from high above. We met a seventh generation Spanish noble who gave us a showing of his prized Ica stones, claiming these were mysterious prehistoric carvings found in a cave. It later came out that the stones were a hoax, but he had quite the story and fee to go with viewing his collection. 

We then headed towards Cusco to the famous Sacsayhuaman area. This is a true wonder and mystery of the world. I went into a deep state of connection, absorbed all I could, especially drawn to the sacred waters and wild alpacas. Over the next four days we would hike the Inca trail that takes you to Machu Picchu. Many times along the trail I was so far from the group I was completely alone in the majestic Andes for hours, just me, the mist and the wild horses grazing down in the valley. Once at Machu Picchu  I meditated, remained silent for the entire experience, touched the Earth and simply connected with the energy there. 

Cusco and the hot springs nearby (aguas calientes) were the highlight of the trip for me. An exquisitely designed city – sparkling clean with live music, cafe’s and artists celebrating life at an altitude of over 11k feet. The cusqueño/a were just as beautiful as the mix of colonial and Incan architecture. 

Next stop was our three day Peruvian Amazon adventure, which ended with an ayahuasca ceremony guided by four shamans who cleansed our fasted bodies with tobacco smoke, chanting and drums. I didn’t have a full blown hallucination, but I did come out the other side fully cleansed and clear. I knew what I wanted ,who I wanted and what path my post collegiate life was going to take. I’m so grateful I was able to have that experience, I truly had many epic moments. Peru is a beautiful country I recommend. 

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