While Jess was being attacked by a venomous spider (unbeknownst to me!), I was winding my way up through the narrow mountain pass between Salkantay and Humantay and back down to the jungle before ending up in Macchu Picchu.  Jess and I booked our Salkantay trek before we left the States, and as Jess really felt awful in the high altitude of the Salar we co-opted Phil “Philthy” Perry from San Diego to be the “New Jessica” for the trip. The group was all double X chromosomes other than Phil, so suffice it to say he was happy with the mostly-female trip arrangements.

As with any multi-day trip, who you travel with in large part determines how much you will enjoy your trek. To say I lucked in with this trip is an understatement; by the end of our 5 days we were practically a family. The group consisted of Phil, Lee Ann, a fantastically strong, sarcastic and energetic woman from Breckenridge who flies 747s for Japan Airlines (I think half of our trip was us asking pilot-related questions to her), Jennifer, one of Lee Ann´s best friends (also from Breckenridge) with a biting wit and a generous soul, and Jessica from London, who despite saying she wasn’t nearly fit enough to do this trip, made it to the top of every mountain we climbed in record time, WITH a fear of heights. Our guide (Aquiles) was from the town of Mollepata, where the trek began, and boasted a litany of skills: cowboy, homeopathic doctor, polyglot, botanist, etc., and also THE best hair on anyone we’ve seen in South America thus far (a mop of tousled curls). By the end of our trip, we were so sad to part ways that we made a plan to meet up the next day at 10am, guide and all.

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  • Jodi Ettenberg

    Born in Montreal, Canada, Jodi Ettenberg is a former new media and technology lawyer who quit her job after 5+ years of working…

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