Never get lost in a mountain after dark

Last night was the first time I thought I would die… or at least hurt myself rather badly.  It was probably the most frightened that I have ever felt.  It all began when my friends and I decided to climb the mountain by the school.  We had set off at a decent time, 2:30pm, aiming to hit a rock that we could see from the bottom.

the mountain by our school

Already, the path was tough and most of the time, we were creating our own trails through grass that were taller than me as well as some nice prickly surprises.  In addition, it was mostly a steep uphill climb.  We finally made it to an area here thre was some wheat being farm.  It was pretty amazing to see someone´s farm that high up and on the side of a mountain.  At that point, my friend, Missy, decided to hang out there and journal since her foot was hurting a bit.  Creighton and I continued on with a mission to reach that top of the mountain.  It became even tougher as we hit an area with a mudslide and we had to do some rock climbing on some precariously stuck together mud.  There was a moment when I was stuck at an area for a good few minutes since I did not know where to go and I tried a step somewhere and ended up sliding down a little before finally getting out of it.  After more of that type of ordeal, we made it to a relatively flat area where we sat, took pictures and enjoyed the few.  Sadly, we could only sit there for a few minutes as we realized that the sun would set in an hour and we still had to figure out a way down.

When we finally started down, we saw a path below and made our way there.  The thing with running into a trail midway is that you have a choice, go left or go right.  To the right, we saw the rock that we originally meant to be on.  However, we thought that the trail ended there and we would end up doing what we did climbing up, except going down.  Therefore, to be on the ¨safe¨ side, we headed left.  The logic was that the trail on the left, longer though it may be, is likely to head straight to town and therefore may be a safer way down than attempting to climb down the way we came.

Unfortunately, choosing that path led to the scariest situation I´ve ever been in, and yet, I guess the best and most adventurous story I could tell, though I do no justice in this retelling.  Also, trying to relieve those moments still frighten me and therefore will try to be as succint as possible.  Basically, we followed that road, crossing over some parts that have crumbled down.  However, no matter how fast we attempted to quickly walk down the trail, it continued on for a long while, winding up or flat, with few downs, around one mountain to the next.  At that point, the sun had set and the moon was starting to be the only one to light our path.  Still we continued to follow the road until we heard rushing water. We crossed a mini stream and realized that the path had stopped.  It was too dark to search for another and at that point, we basically decided that going straight down the mountain as much as we possibly could would be the best since it would be faster and because we don´t know what else to do at the point.  There were so many possibilities that went through my mind, from being found by wild animals or wild people to sleeping on the mountain for the night to falling off a cliff.  Basically, just to end this already long story, we ended up at a couple of dead ends, one being at a cliff with a 15 foot drop and us debating whether or not to climb down the tree beside it. In fact, because of this, I ended up holding on to a rock for the next time we reach a cliff which I ended up bleeding all over at one point from sliding down through the brambles.  I think I´m gonna bring this rock home.

Finally, we found a semi aqueduct that we slowly slid down (in case it ended in a cliff).  It was quite steep and we definitely fell on our butt as well as hit and grabbed and landed on spiky plants.  Finally, after about 3.5 hours stuck on that mountain in the dark, we made it on flat land.  I could barely believe it.  Even walking to the Plaza de Armas in Pisaq felt like a dream!

behind me is the area of the mountain where we finally made it down

All in all, I am sooooo glad to have made it safely down and the first thing I did was tell my family how much I loved them.  You really do realize what matters most after situations like that.  I think I´m pretty good on adventures at this point.  No more craziness for a while. 🙂

Ciao.

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