Peru. The Land of the Incas, the land of my ancestors, a country with an amazing culture and unexplained mysteries. A large portion of my family still lives in Peru, I had a chance to visit my family and to hike the "The Original" Inca Trail in 2009. The trek itself was fantastic with sweeping views of the Andes Mountains and lush green jungles, spending time with family and friends on the trail, exploring Inca sites everyday seemed like a dream to me. The Inca Trail itself was almost as fantastic as the main attraction, Machu Picchu.
I had two "incidents" during our trek that I cannot explain to this day, almost five years later. A little background on myself: I'm a logical person, very black and white in my thinking, I chose accounting for my profession and I loved it. I'm a Christ Follower, not into "Hokum Pokum" ideas but I know there is a spiritual world out there good and bad. Let the spookiness begin!
Second day of our trek, we made camp at Llulluchapampa (12,460 ft) near the base of Dead Women's Pass. We enjoyed coca tea, dinner, games and conversations in good company. Scary stories were told during dinner by our main guide, Marco, a mid-20's Cuzco native. Marco gave us his scary personal experiences of campfire flames turning orange to completely blue, feeling a hand run along his tent, and awakening to feeling hands on his knees only open his tent and being completely alone. Other hikers told Marco of waking up outside their tents with feelings of "someone" choking them. Marco said it was the doings of the Inca Spirits....
I took it in and checked these stories in my mental "Yeah Right" box and crawled into my sleeping bag only slightly spooked, but I had a dream that night...
In my dream I was asleep in my tent with my husband and he woke up, came from behind to hug me as we lay on the tent floor, a nice embrace. The nice embrace quickly became tighter and tighter and his hands went to my neck and started angrily choking me. As I struggled to pull his hands away from my neck I woke up sweating, gasping for air and quickly turned around to see my husband peacefully sleeping.
Let's just say I really did not sleep the rest of the night especially
after hearing footsteps outside my tent and my husband struggling to breathe as
he slept. I attributed my dream to my
body adjusting to the altitude change (so I could go back to "sleep")
and I eventually figured out that it was another hiker's footsteps I heard all
night. Apparently she also had dreams of
being choked ALL night long. Inca
Spirits or not, I was definitely spooked...
Fourth Day of our trek, after lunch we took a little side trip to Wiñay Wayna which means "Forever Young". Wiñya Wayna is one of my favorite Inca ruins because as we turned around the dense thick jungle, this beautiful ruin looked like it was digitally imposed onto the mountainside. It took my breath away, an empty beautiful Inca ruin and we had it all to ourselves. We took our glamour shots and headed into the ruins to explore.
My husband and I broke off from the rest of the group and explored the upper section of the ruins, enjoyed the gorgeous view, and pretended that I was cooking food in one of the rooms, just having fun. I got distracted with taking pictures and when I looked up my husband was gone. I walked down the "hallway" to find him and heard a swooshing noise right by my ear, so I walked a little faster and heard another swooshing noise by my other ear.
I realized was alone in an ancient Inca site, so I turned the corner and heard more swooshing noises. I totally got tunnel vision and start running, turning corners to try to find my husband, all the while still hearing swooshing noises. I was about to rebuke whatever I was hearing in the name of Christ, when I almost crashed into my husband on my 3rd or 4th corner and stumbled out the words "Where were you?!?". He was off taking pictures....we walked down to the lower section of Wiñay Wayna without saying a word to him about what I just experienced.
I couldn't understand what happened, there was NO wind or rain, nothing physically there to make those noises. Was I crazy? Well maybe...but all I know is what I experienced.
There are strange things out there that people experience.
My family is from deep in the Amazon Jungle and there are legends of "El Bufeo Colorado", the pink Amazonian dolphin that transforms into a white man and romances the local women and takes them into the aquatic world to never return to their families.
Once again, I put on my "logical-thinking hat" but after what
I experienced near Dead Women's Pass and Wiñay Wayna I will definitely at least
give some credence to someone else experiences.
About the Author: Melissa Avery is a San Francisco Bay Area wife, stay at home mom and lover of the outdoors. Her blog at Chasqui Mom is about her family adventures loving nature through hiking, backpacking, and anything outdoors.