Colca Canyon Peru

Day 338: Cabanaconde, Peru

I was really excited about climbing down Colca Canyon. I was with people really great people who loved hiking and the outdoors. When they decided that instead of 3 hours we would do a 2 day hike in and around the villages I was excited to be part of this.


I wanted to prove that I could be a hiker.


The first section of the trail was all downhill. Not surprisingly, the guys raced ahead while the girls stayed back and chatted with a slower pace.

colca canyon cactus fruit

Jeremy, who is a mountain guide back in Canada, and the leader of the hike showed us cactus fruit and shared it with us along the way.


This was a good day.


Things were going well. I was writing my redemption post in my head. While I hadn’t climbed to Machu Picchu I was going to conquer Colca Canyon.

And after 3 hours I felt great. We arrived at the Oasis, a set of pools and when we learned that the pools weren’t filled I was ready to move on and take the next challenge.

colca canyon hikers

The next challenge was hiking back up the other side of the Canyon. I could do this. I decided if I hiked this Canyon I would never need to go hiking again because I had proved I could do it.

And I did it.


Well I did it for an hour.


But it was noon hour and I was hot, water didn’t seem to be cooling me down and I was lagging farther and farther behind the group.

My thoughts began to change. Why am I doing this? I really have a day and a half more of this? When does it become fun.

And then it happened.

I sat down to catch my breath and realized I didn’t want to continue.


Why am I doing this?


Mirijam yelled down from above to cheer me on, to tell me I could do it. I took a few steps.

But then realized I really wasn’t having fun, at the end I wouldn’t remember conquering a great challenge but simply being miserable for a long time.

It wasn’t me. I’m not a hiker. I wasn’t enjoying this, I was pushing myself because I thought I should.

I told them I was turning around.


My hike was over.


girl with camera

I felt a little sense of defeat walking back down. Did I give up too soon? I knew the answer as soon as I took out my camera.

Instead of walking back in shame I took my time strolling around taking photos. Admiring the cacti and landscape that I wasn’t able to do when I was convincing myself to walk uphill.

I ended up having a great time alone and left with a smile on my face. I realized that was my last attempt at serious hiking.

I don’t enjoy more than a half-day walk. I had used rain as an excuse for Machu Picchu but I was just going to admit it.

colca canyon cactus


I’m not a hiker. I’ll never be one. I don’t want to be one.


And when I landed at the Oasis I did the only thing fit to do.

I jumped in the pool that was now ready and got a mule to take me back up the otherside of the Canyon.


150 Comments

  1. Camels & Chocolate on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I had this exact feeling while whale-watching on Saturday! WITHOUT FAIL, I get deathly seasick, even though I take Dramamine/Bonine the required hour before departure, chew on ginger, watch the horizon, all that crap. And, of course, like clockwork, half an hour into our trip on Saturday (the day after the tsunami hit us, mind you), I was vomiting off the back of the boat wondering why I always say I’ll do such outings when I know I’m going to be miserable!

    So lesson learned for both of us, eh? From now on, we put our feet down and say no, no, we won’t go!
    Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Photo Friday- Tel Aviv- Israel

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I learned sailing from Panama to Colombia that I’m not a sailor either – I’m really starting to look like a pansy now.

      Seasickness is the worst! Even if you get sick you still feel terrible.

  2. Kelly on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    At least you gave it a shot! I felt the same during parts of the Machu Picchu hike. But on a 4-day hike, there’s really no turning back. Meh! Some people are hikers and some are not. And some, like me, can only be hikers under the best of conditions: good weather, slow pace, no pressure!

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I felt so fortunate that I had the option to turn around, and know that there was a mule that would take me back up the other side!

  3. jamie - cloud people adventures on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    man, that is a tough hike. i have to say though, i definitely found the extra effort going up the other side was worth it once you got to the little villages. we stayed there a couple of nights and loved it. a pretty amazing way of life. but, you got to do what you got to do!
    jamie – cloud people adventures recently posted..Accommodation – Choose Wisely!

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      It was definitely a tough decision, I heard the villages are really amazing.

  4. Alouise on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I think sometimes people feel the pressure to do and see it all when they travel. It’s good to push your limits and get out your comfort zone, try something new, etc. But it’s also good to know your limits and know when to quit or stop. This is a good reminder that you won’t like everything you try….even when you travel.
    Alouise recently posted..Road Trip Memories Week 2 – Going To Manitoba

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I think between Machu Picchu and Colca Canyon I’ve realized that I’ll never get excited over trekking so I should just spend my energy doing things I do get excited over.

  5. Poi on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Well done for giving it a go, better to realise when you did than after the point of no return!

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Tried it. Hated it. Won’t do it again :)

  6. Magda on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    The way up from the bottom of the canyon is very hard indeed.

    Generally speaking trekking and hiking can be hard at times and on every single trek I did I had moments when I had enough and wanted to quit. But since usually I had no other option but walk I did finish those treks. And when I think about them now I think they were very worth all the effort. The views you get to see in places like Colca Canyon, in the Himalayas, in the Andes etc are breathtaking. So I think trekking is good despite the fact that it makes me really tired and sometimes angry. I love trekking even if sometimes is really hate it if you know what I mean ;)

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I really contemplated if I should push through or not.

      I’m an avid gym go-er and I love the adrenaline rush after a great class where I know I pushed myself to the limit and I even enjoy the difficulty while I’m doing it. But when I compared it to that I realized that I wasn’t enjoying any of it and I’m done doing things I don’t enjoy.

      But am jealous of you, I really wish I was a trekking kind of person.

      • magda on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

        Here is a thing – I am not really trekking kind of person. Trekking makes me very tired and requires huge effort from me. But I decided to make trekking my personal challange. I still find it difficult and unpleasant when I am in the process of trekking, but at the end of every day I feel like I achieved more that I though I’d be able to achieve. It’s not only a physical challenge but predominantly mental one. When I trek I feel like turning back all the time. So each day is a huge achievement. I think that this challenge made me a bit stronger (mentaly) and it is now easier for me to stick to my goals.

        I know that you don’t find pleasure in trekking, but here is a thought – maybe try to complete one (in a spectacular location – I recommend Cordilliera Blanca in Peru or Torres del Paine in Chile) and see how it feels at the end. Will you be just tired and angry or will you feel like what you just did was awesome despite negative feelings?

        • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

          Really interesting perspective Magda.

          I did hike Wayna picchu. It was an hour up, very steep but I think it was just the right amount of effort and time. If it had been longer it would have been unpleasant.

          Also a few years back I hiked Tongariro in New Zealand and toward the top it started to rain and hail. I’m pretty sure I was crying but I couldn’t really tell because there was so much rain on my face.

  7. El on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Great post! I’m learning that we’re all different travelers with different likes, goals, etc. I’m done putting pressure on myself to live up to other people’s travel ideas!

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I really wanted to be that person. But I’m not and I’m going to stop trying.

  8. Arti on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Sometimes you travel places when you are alone and enjoy more as you are doing things that you like… and isn’t that the main purpose of why we travel, to be happy?
    Glad that the entire journey left you with a smiling face at the end :)
    Arti recently posted..My Guest Post for Indie Travel Podcast

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      It’s nice that somehow everything always works out and I got great company on the way down and a great, albeit petrifying, mule ride on the way back up.

  9. inka on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Well done, by which I mean being yourself, turning around and doing what you really like. It’s necessary to give things a try because otherwise you don’t know if you are cut out for them or not,but it’s mature to cut your losses, so to speak. I’m glad you are a non hiker too, I avoid it like the plague.I mean, how do you climb a mountain in heels???
    inka recently posted..Breakfast habits of the world

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Inka the thought of you hiking in heels in hilarious.

  10. Barbara Weibel on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Bravo! For being honest. And for being able to admit to yourself that you really don’t like it. I sometimes ask myself why I am doing things, so I can really relate.
    Barbara Weibel recently posted..Ghosts at the Bridge on the River Kwai

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      The more I travel the more I realize there are things I just don’t want to do. I still try all the new things but if I hate it more than a couple times why bother!

  11. Jim on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Yeah, pays to get away from the rest of them and just go off and photograph nature. Nothing is so wrong as pushing yourself to do something you don’t want to do just to keep up with the crowd.
    How did you find the cactus fruit? Good?
    We ate a lot of them in Ethiopia. Quite yummy.
    Jim recently posted..My Land- Get out fishing New Zealands coastal waters

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I loved the cactus fruit, we had some that were under ripe and then very ripe and they were all delicious.

  12. Roman on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    My opinion – to hike alone is better. I love trekking, but do it slowly as up as down, takin’ pictures all the time, take the rest for smoking every 40 min or just sit on the stone and listen to the silence but not the breath and ooh and aaah of fellows and so on… Everybody have own physical rhythm… I climbed Merapi volcano in Jawa, Indonesia. it was night 5 hours hike to meet the sunrise. The company included ppl from Switzelrand and France – they are Alps inhabitants and hike very fast, but for office plankton which I am it wasn’t easy. They were waiting for me all the time, asked – r u ok? I feel very sorry and uncomfortable that they wait for me. But to climb alone – absolutely great! U can sing loud during the hike, and great feeling when only u and mountains around
    Roman recently posted..KKH- Hell yeah- what a ride!

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      One of my biggest anxieties was that I was slowing the group down. Fortunately they went ahead but kept checking on me every so often.

  13. Teresa on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I did not opt to do this for the same reason. I love walking, I love nature, I love small hikes, but when the lady explained it to me… and said “Oh… it’s not too hard.” I knew I could not. I have a number of health issues and for her to still say “You can do it. Just walk slow.” meant I was staying home while the bf did this. He said it himself: “You would have died out there.”

    But, I think it’s great you tried it and admit it wasn’t for you!

    LOVE Cactus fruit though!

    One of his pictures is hilarious; on the trail, he saw a delivery of a brand new massive fridge. Two Peruvians carrying a big ass fridge on a mountain.

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Yeah the hike down was okay but I understand now why they offer the mule service back up, it is incredibly steep and would be miserable to do.

  14. Marsha on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Hiking is one of those things you have to do with like-minded people. I’m a slow hiker too and I enjoy hiking more with people who adopt that speed as well.
    Marsha recently posted..Six Things About Going to Belgium That Scare Me

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      A definite tip is not to go hiking with mountain climbers if you think you may not like hiking!

  15. Jilianne @ Cotswold Cottages on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I was hoping to read a fresh post from you today and I’m glad you did wrote something :)

    Btw, didn’t it occur to you that you might have enjoyed when you reach the end of the trail?
    Jilianne @ Cotswold Cottages recently posted..bahia del sol

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Oh I knew what I was sacrificing, I really wanted to reach the villages at the top. But it would have been two days of feeling like this to get to them.

      On the bright side I did meet an employee at the pool at the bottom and we had a long talk about the area, the villages, the tourists who come through. It turned out to be a really nice day.

  16. Jeanette on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Some people are hikers and some aren’t, not sure if I am, but I’m probably not. I’m glad you got to take some pictures and enjoy the scenery and the pool on the way back.
    Jeanette recently posted..Guest Post by Ayngelina of Bacon is Magic Ecuadorian Menestra Recipe

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Hike a canyon and you’ll find out!

  17. islandmomma on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I quite like hiking, but strange as it may sound to some people, I’m not sure hiking and photography mix well. I know you only get those special shots, no-one else gets by being somewhere remote and only accessible on foot, but if taking good photos is important to you, and the entire group isn’t like-minded, then it’s hard, because you feel as if either you’re holding them up whilst you snap away, or frustrated because they pace they set doesn’t allow you enough time to take photos. I haven’t been on a real hike for over a year now & that’s my reason/excuse.

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I absolutely agree with you. On the initial way down the canyon any time I would take a photo I’d get really far behind the group and had to run ahead. Unless you’re with other people who want to do the same it’s really tough.

  18. Caz Makepeace on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I’m definitely a hiker, I absolutely love the challenge and being out in nature.

    But,if I hated it then nothing would be worse then forcing yourself to do it just to say you did it.

    You’ve got to do what you find enjoyable in life. You made the right choice to go back and do what you like instead.
    Caz Makepeace recently posted..St Patricks Day in Sydney

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I think I pushed myself because I felt lazy but I play a bunch of sports and love a good step class. I’d love to be one of those nature people, but I guess I’m just a city girl.

  19. Michi on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I loved this post! I feel the same way about running.
    I hope you enjoyed the mule ride! (Which hopefully allowed you to take more leisurely pictures while going up the mountain?)
    Michi recently posted..Work hard Play Hard

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      The mule ride was petrifying! I didn’t realize that instinctively they like to walk on the edge so half the time I was looking down the cliffs wondering if I would die or just break all my limbs.

  20. Eugenie on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    An important lesson I learned, is being honest with yourself, and that’s what you did.
    It’s the only way to live the life you like.

    (and now I’m going to read your newsletter YEAH!!!)

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Thanks Eugenie, hope you like the newsletter!

  21. Christine on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Isn’t that the whole point of travelng? Pushing our comfort zone? That’s exactly what you did, and the good thing is you tried! Besides, wandering at a slower pace and taking pictures sounds much more ideal to me :)

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Nice way to think about it. I pushed it, rejected it, and then went and drank an Orange Fanta!

  22. Brian H. on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    But you got some great pictures along the way, that’s all that matters in my book. : )

    Love the foggy hikers photo.
    Brian H. recently posted..Photo Giveaway for Designers Only

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      It was so hard to choose the photos, actually the first hour was all in fog, that part of the hike was really nice.

  23. Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    It’s hard sometimes when there’s something you THINK you should do. You don’t have to hike for 3 days to be a true backpacker, you have nothing to prove to no one. You have to enjoy yourself, and if that isn’t happening then screw it! Like you said, your not a hiker. Now you know and can plan the things you like to do around this fact. Good for you for trying though.
    Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ recently posted..Out of Africa and The Need for Waterproof

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      For sure, if it’s not a flat walk a senior could do, with a big beer waiting for me at the end, I’m not doing it.

  24. South America ME on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Remember, always do the things you enjoy instead of following the crowd and you will go far.
    Rob W.
    South America ME recently posted..Air Show over Parque Araucano

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Yep, maybe it’s my age, but I’m tired of doing things, like hiking, when I’d rather be doing something else, like drinking wine!

  25. Pete on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    It’s definitely a challenging hike, and you tried. You were honest with yourself and didn’t push it too far where some people might. This is where they can get themselves into trouble. You got some beautiful pictures and enjoyed the time on your own. I actually prefer hiking alone or just with Dalene because we go at our own pace and don’t feel any rush to keep up (generally we are slow because we take so many photos). I think you get way more out of it and see things sometimes not everybody does.

    Wasn’t it odd though how out of place those pools looked in the Canyon? As nice as they were on the hot day, we thought it just didn’t fit..
    Pete recently posted..Decision Maker Wanted – Apply Within!

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Yeah the pools at the bottom were just plain weird, here you are in this idyllic setting in nature and people put a bunch of in ground pools next to a river. The only nice thing about it was that I had to wait a few hours for the mule and because it was off season no one was there but me and one of the workers came over to chat and we traded funny travelers stories.

  26. Sheryl on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Good for you. I am so not a hiker and have been trying to convince myself I was since age 18 (25 years ago). Once I realized I don’t have to hike to enjoy traveling I was able to let everyone else go ahead and enjoy walking at my own pace for as long as I wanted to. If I ever go to Machu Picchu it will be by train if it’s raining or not.
    Sheryl recently posted..10- no make that 11 things I’ve learned living on a Chilean beach

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I don’t know how I made it 33 years without realizing I really don’t like hiking. In Eastern Canada we don’t have mountains really so the longest I had ever hiked was 3 hours and it didn’t seem so bad.

  27. Bluegreen Kirk on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Maybe you did give up too soon but if you hadnt would you have been able to take the photos. So you have decided you arent a hiker its okay keep traveling and taking photos.
    Bluegreen Kirk recently posted..A Snorkeling Vacation In Dry Tortugas Offers Reefs Of Fun And Adventure

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Travel. Photos. Leisurely strolls. That is the Bacon is Magic way!

  28. Abby on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Good for you! I’m not a huge fan of hiking either. The worst hike I ever did was in the Provinica of Juyjuy in Argentina, and we hiked 2 hours down into to where some hot springs were, only to find out that the trail down to the hot springs was practically impossible and way too steep and scary for me (it involved haning onto roots on almost a sheer cliff). So no hot springs, then 3 hours back uphill in the hot sun with almost no water and everyone else passing us on horses (they were smart). Never again! Flat hikes only for me. Haha.
    Abby recently posted..Beware the Gringo Collectors

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Oh yeah I like being in nature, but flat nature, maybe with a few small hills but flat enough I can look around instead of staring at my feet wondering when it will all be over.

  29. jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I’m sorta jealous that you have the luxury of turning back. Jack always pushes me for not quitting on a hike/climb/whatever… I always feel great when I did make it to the end.

    But I swear sometimes I just want to strangle him and turn back by myself :)
    jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World recently posted..7 Mistakes That Made Our Trip to Denali Unforgettable

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I really contemplated pushing through it for that feeling of final triumph – but then I realized I had 12 more hours of hiking and I’d rather the triumph of walking downhill :)

  30. Rachelle on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I remember going to the Valley for the France reunion and Grenville took his class on a hiking trip. My friend Hyla and I tagged along…were you on this hiking adventure? It was an all day hiking field trip. I just remember my feet hurting and wondering what possessed Hyla and I to tag along!!! I’m in agreement with the no-likey hiking!
    Rachelle recently posted..Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Yes I remember that! It was the first time I went hiking and I wore indoor soccer shoes and jeans that I planned to wear that night! Worst of all I believed Gren’s joke that there was an ice cream shop at the top of Cape Split!

  31. Wandering Trader's Travels on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Hey, at least the day ended well with you jumping into the pool and with the mule helping you out! You can’t force yourself to be something you’re not – especially if you’re not enjoying it :D

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Yes and no one will have to read another post about me contemplating hiking – yay!

  32. Annie on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I really enjoyed this and your post on Machu Picchu because even though I think I would be okay for hiking in these instances, I am often the victim (to myself) of doing things I don’t want to do just because I think I should.

    I read a lot of travel stories and hear a lot of other peoples experiences and I’m always thinking ‘I want that’ or ‘that’s the perfect experience’ and I am disappointed if I can’t find that or on the other end of the spectrum think I should do it because someone else did. I should be a super duper budget traveler because that’s all the rage (and I’m broke) but guess what? I like food. And in some places I like party hostels and convenience of staying smack in the center of town.

    These are general relations but it sounds like as you travel you are learning more and more about who you are and accepting that, no matter what it means. That’s a really important quality and it is one that I strive to find as I travel and grow too!

    I’m glad you enjoyed yourself in the end and got to swim in the pools. That would probably have been my reason for doing the hike anyway!
    Annie recently posted..Lesson 8- Dirty Water is for Weiners

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Yeah I’m surprised it took me 11 months to figure out a lot of these things but I am so stubborn I really wanted to be a big hiker. But why? So I could tell people I had hiked through the Andes? I’m still seeing them, just not hiking through them :)

  33. Christy - Ordinary Traveler on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Good for you for not pushing yourself too hard. I love hiking, but like Kelly said, on my own terms. I usually hike with a group of guys who want to get all crazy and go at a fast pace. I like to stop and enjoy the scenery. Your second part of the trip sounds like the perfect hike to me. ;)
    Christy – Ordinary Traveler recently posted..7 Reasons to Take a Sabbatical from Work to Travel 21

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Thanks Christy. I really did enjoy the hike down the canyon which was actually tough because the steps are so steep. But after 2 hours I think the shine wears off for me.

  34. Candice on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Hahaha, best story about “giving up” ever! If you’re miserable, why would you keep pushing yourself?! I love this ending.

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Yay I’m a quitter :) Although I really did pay for it with the mule, they go right to the edge of the cliffs!

  35. Lois on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    You are so true to yourself Ayngelina. We love you for it. Chichi and I went bike riding in the Vietnamese highlands today. We started out really excited but we gave up after four hours. We didnt even make it to the waterfalls. I guess you just can’t do everything. But it’s important to feel good and still have fun.

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Four hours on a bike? I would have given up too!

  36. Mark on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Good on you for giving it a go – I stayed up on the road at the top, and that’s about my limit. :) Tempting as it was to go down – it must be a great walk down – but with the altitude and uphill, no thanks! :)
    Mark recently posted..Top 8 Annoyances on the London Underground

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      The downhill climb was actually tough, it’s really steep and there are tons of loose rocks. The top is just as nice.

  37. kara rane on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    great for you 2 b U! and keep putting that camera to use, i enjoy your photos!

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Aww thanks Kara!

  38. Erin on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    One of the things I wanted to do in South America was a multi-day hike. I really enjoyed our 5 day trek in Nepal, but we only walked 4-5 hours a day, got to stay in basic guesthouses at night and had a porter to carry our backpack!

    In South America we kept finding excuses not to do the long treks but honestly they just sounded like too hard work!

    I’m not ready to give up on the idea of doing long hikes but I can imagine the relief of just deciding you aren’t going to do it anymore. It sounds like you made the right decison for you. It’s not easy in the backpacker world when there are so many things that you just ‘have’ to do, so well done!
    Erin recently posted..Lows of 1 Year as Digital Nomads in South America

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I guess it defines what a hike is. I’m no longer in for altitude and hills. But if it’s flat and nice weather I could definitely do a multiday hike – or do you call that walk?

      Regardless I don’t think I’ll find one in South America.

  39. Andrea on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    That’s OK! I always have a really positive feeling inside when I’m out in nature and that’s why I’m always dragging John on hikes. He likes it ok but I’m the one who really loves to go tramping. It’s not for everyone. Just do what you love in life and leave the rest. That’s my motto.
    Andrea recently posted..Hiking in the Andean Foothills- Parque Nacional Huerquehue

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      If I were with a loved one that really was into it maybe I could be pushed. But on my own forget about it :)

  40. Eileen on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    People were and continue to be scandalized that I was close enough to the most dangerous road in the world (Bolivia) without riding a bike down it. I heeded my own misgivings about it and have never regretted it. Even if everything had gone perfectly, it still would have been unfun for me. And I support your decision and agree with everyone that traveling is supposed to be fun. Not a hyped-up list of “vanquished” must-dos, anyone who insists you “have” to do something must be eyed with great suspicion.

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      I have wondered about the road of death. I’m scared of going downhill fast on bikes so still not sure if I’ll do that one.

  41. Carmie on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I know how much you hate not finishing something that you have started….it is in your stubborn nature not to let anything get the best of you! As a kid it was always the trying that was important -remember water skiing? But it is good to see that you can “reevaluate” the situation and accept and embrace that sometime you just suck at things! So hang up those hiking boots and have a beer!

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      My mother encourages me to stay in and have a beer. How sweet is that?

  42. Michael Hodson on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    The hike down killed me (I went from the side you were hiking up towards, when you stopped) and I didn’t even bother with the hike up. Rode the mule back up the hill. ;)
    Michael Hodson recently posted..Top 10 Months to Travel

    • Ayngelina on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

      Yep the mule is definitely the way to go!

  43. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    This is exactly why I won’t go skiing. I HATE the cold with a passion.
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..FAQ’s About My Upcoming Wedding Part 3

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      I hate the cold as well. People seem to think that Canadians like the cold, but I’m one that definitely does not!

  44. Liz on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Good for you. To me, it’s the equivalent of putting aside a book I’m not enjoying and moving on to another I do. Life’s too short!
    LA
    P.S. Glad you finished the solo portion of the trip with both arms intact!

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      I always have a hard time putting a bad book aside, I’m far too stubborn.

  45. Leigh on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    As a committed hiker and someone who loves a physical challenge I have a hard time relating to you with regards to hiking. But for knowing your mind at your age and being okay with your decisions I applaud you.Too many people don’t really know themselves and cave to peer pressure. Apparently you’re not what one of them.

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      Then you’d just have to be the site biketravel.com :)

  46. Katie on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Good for you for realizing you just didn’t want to do it and turning back. I fell in love with hiking, despite the difficulties, when I did the Inca Trail. Although my experience hiking Colca was quite difficult as well (check out the guest post I did for SpunkyGirl Monologues about it), I enjoyed the challenge. But I basically reached the point where I said to heck with the guide and friend I was with (who were walking WAY too fast for me) and slowed down, took my time, stopped to take pictures, and ended up enjoying it a lot more.

    And actually, if I had known there was a mule option available for the way up, I may have opted for that! :)
    Katie recently posted..Lessons I’ve Learned From My Passport

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      I don’t know, when I first got on the mule I really wondered if I should have just climbed back up, it was really scary.

      • Katie on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

        That doesn’t surprise me! I rode a donkey once in Egypt and I was terrified the entire time.
        Katie recently posted..Lessons I’ve Learned From My Passport

        • Ayngelina on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

          Yeah I don’t know how I feel about large animals either, they are scary!

  47. Norbert on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I’m a hiker, and I love it! But on the other hand I’m not a foodie. :P

    It’s not a defeat not doing the hike entirely. Not everything is for everyone. But at least you found a great way to return by taking your time to enjoy the scenery and taking pictures… something you missed while forcing yourself to hike up. :)
    Norbert recently posted..Best Travel Shows to Inspire Wanderlust

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      Yeah I have to say the scenery was really cool, I’ve never seen masses of cacti before. I’m glad I did the 2 hours down it was nice.

  48. robin on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I actually really like hiking, although I have my limits! I’d prefer to wander with a camera though.
    robin recently posted..Carnaval

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      I like that, I’m not a hiker but a wanderer.

  49. Laurel on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    I love hiking but I think the key to enjoying travel is to spend it doing things you like, not things you “should” do.
    Laurel recently posted..My Favorite City in Germany That You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      I know didn’t I say this would be the year I got rid of the “shoulds” and here I am doing the canyon because I think I should.

      Lesson learned!

  50. Ali on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    Awesome. I’m the same way, a leisurely hike to see some pretty wilderness is great. Beyond that I’m miserable. You can still enjoy traveling without having to do things like this just because other people think it’s great. I’m glad you didn’t push yourself into something you knew you wouldn’t enjoy.

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      Yeah I like clean air, birds, cacti. I just don’t like walking up hill for hours!

  51. Christine on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    What a great lesson about life in general. Try it and if it’s not for you,then move on to the next thing to try. I think we spend too much time trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Thanks for posting this, you gave me much to think about. :)

  52. Nicole on the March 15, 2011 remarked #

    This is why it’s good to hike with small kids. They stop and examine every little thing along the way, you don’t get very far, and you’ve got a great excuse for not keeping up with everyone. :)
    Nicole recently posted..Second gastro tavern opens today!

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      Can I rent kids? Because I really only like them for a day, and usually not in the mornings when I’m tired :)

  53. Connie on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    That’s fine that you’re not a hiker, but at least you gave it a try! Not many people would have even done that!
    Connie recently posted..TTOT Round-Up- Language In Travel

    • Ayngelina on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

      Thanks Connie, you’re right I tried it and now I’m done!

  54. Alicia on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    You tried and you didn’t failed because you learned what you really want=)

  55. Mara on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    It is good to know things like this about yourself. Me? I hate to swim. Don’t like to be in the water, especially if it is at all cold.

    There’s no point in doing something just because you think you should – the whole point of independent travel is just that: Independence.

    And I agree with Connie – it’s not like you didn’t try. You did and now you know. I don’t force my children to eat beets for the same reason even though I happen to think they are nuts.
    Mara recently posted..Mondays are for dreaming- Finding a travel dream

    • Ayngelina on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

      I love beets too. My favourite is to shred them and toss with shredded green apple and feta cheese topped with a vinaigrette. Your kids are missing out!

  56. Gareth Leonard on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    Look on the bright side… maybe you have a future in mule riding!
    Gareth Leonard recently posted..UNDER CONSTRUCTION – A LOOK BACK

    • Ayngelina on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

      The mule was scary, I need a new future!

  57. Red on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    I think you discovered the secret of hiking – go at your own speed. Some hike for exercise, some for accomplishment. I hike to enjoy nature and photograph the surroundings, and love hiking except when it is controlled by someone else’s stopwatch.

    • Ayngelina on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

      I think the secret of hiking is no hills :)

  58. Krista on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    Good for you, Ayngelina! I DO love hiking but am so glad you tried it and now know your limits and interests and don’t have anything to prove. :-) That’s fantastic! So glad you had such a great time moseying by yourself. :-)

  59. The NVR Guys on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    There are just things that don’t require a lot of soul searching. deciding not to do big hike is one of those things. Having said that, Kent and I are the absolute Kings of over examination, so I am not one to talk.
    The NVR Guys recently posted..Travelogue – on a mission in Washington DC

    • Ayngelina on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

      Well if you’re the Kings I’m definitely the Queen!

  60. Stephanie on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    It’s funny because I often feel the exact same way about hiking, but in the end we choose different paths.

    My biggest complaint on the multi-day guided hikes I’ve done is that I don’t have time to take as many photos as I would like. But I really do enjoy the physical challenge of it, so I always push myself to do the hikes.

    So how do I resolve this dilemma? If I think the guide is moving too fast, I don’t worry about it. I stop and take the photos I want and enjoy the hike.

    P.S. I love your honesty :-)
    Stephanie recently posted..Carnaval Traditions in Panama

    • Ayngelina on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

      Thanks Stephanie,

      Perhaps I need to join a senior citizens group so I can still go but we’re so slow that I still enjoy it!

  61. Randy on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    Beth and I both like to hike, but we enjoy poking around on day hikes more, because, like you, we enjoy taking pictures along the way.
    Randy recently posted..February Rocked It Out at Beers and Beans

    • Ayngelina on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

      Taking photos is much more fun. I have no regrets on turning around at all.

  62. Grace on the March 16, 2011 remarked #

    Hiking is not for everybody. I used to do it during my early twenties but now I just want to be lazy. I’m more curious to know how the cactus fruit tasted like??
    Grace recently posted..Travel Hero Series- Meet Lilliane of Wanderlass Travels

    • Ayngelina on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

      Wow hard to explain cactus fruit, maybe like a kiwi but not as sweet?

  63. Ceri on the March 17, 2011 remarked #

    Oh, hun. It doesn’t matter that you’re not a hiker. :) At least you can spend that day and a half doing things you wouldn’t be doing if you were trudging up that mountain. I like hiking but only to a certain extent. If I get to the point where it’s just too much hard work and all the fun is gone, it’s time to call it quits.

    By the way, just want to interject here that I absolutely loved your newsletter. So inspiring. And I can’t wait for the next one!
    Ceri recently posted..Sales- Plague &amp Beach

    • Ayngelina on the March 18, 2011 remarked #

      I may give hiking another shot, but only if it´s 2 hours or less so if I hate it I know the end is near.

  64. Michael on the March 18, 2011 remarked #

    hmm, I really enjoy hiking and I’ve been on hikes with people who just don’t like it. I am guilty of sometimes dragging these people along completely not understanding how trekking outdoors and enjoying beautiful scenery can not be enjoyed. I love knowing there is a destination.

    But then, half way through I realize it was a mistake because they are not enjoying themselves. This makes me not enjoy myself because I feel like I dragged someone into a miserable time.

    From now on I will trust people when they say they don’t like it haha. One thing though, it definitely helps if you hike with people that enjoy the same pace. I don’t just mean from a physical demand standpoint but some people like to really observe, touch and photograph as they go. On the other hand some are in a invisible race. I’m the first type and enjoy it more when I can take in my surroundings at a slow pace.
    Michael recently posted..Hammock Bliss comforts weary Cold Campers

    • Ayngelina on the March 18, 2011 remarked #

      Oh yeah I was definitely with outdoor athletes. Really nice people but I should have known better.

  65. Matt on the March 18, 2011 remarked #

    Congratulations. There is something commendable to be said about coming to a realization like this on your own.

    It’s one thing to challenge yourself, but it’s another to just put yourself in a miserable situation just because you feel you should do it.

    The more you learn and know about yourself, the more you will enjoy your future travels.

  66. KatieAnna on the March 18, 2011 remarked #

    I would totally rather walk about and take pictures with you, that sounds like a wonderful time.
    KatieAnna recently posted..Conversations with my Husband

    • Ayngelina on the March 19, 2011 remarked #

      Thanks Katie, it turned into a pretty great day.

  67. Theodora on the March 21, 2011 remarked #

    Multi-day hikes are often easier than one day hikes, to be honest, where the pace is often brutal.

    I have never enjoyed one day hikes, but I do like multi-day hikes where you get to camp in the wild. You also get that sense of arrival which is so important, rather than simply returning to base.

    I would seriously consider trying a 2 or 3 day hike (rated “easy”) rather than giving up on it altogether.

    • Ayngelina on the March 21, 2011 remarked #

      Okay if I see an easy multi-day, I’ll give it one more shot. But if I don’t like it, it’s all your fault :)

  68. Travelogged on the March 23, 2011 remarked #

    I enjoy a day hike, but don’t ask me to camp out!
    Travelogged recently posted..Social Media Success for New Zealand- Plus a Rotorua Slideshow

  69. Trans-Americas Journey on the March 24, 2011 remarked #

    Just one of the many things we learn about ourselves when we travel–trekker or not a trekker.

    Now we’re off to hike to El Mirador archaeological site in Northern Guatemala for 6 days!
    Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..Monte Alban- Yagul and Mitla Archaeological Sites – Valles Centrales- Oaxaca State- Mexico

    • Ayngelina on the March 26, 2011 remarked #

      6 whole days?? good luck!

  70. Leslie (Downtown Traveler) on the April 9, 2011 remarked #

    Colca Canyon is grueling– and not for everyone! Jake and I did the down-and-up hike in a single day, without a guide and bringing only a pack of Oreos and a liter of water. We stopped for a half hour at the bottom, didn’t eat and started to ascend again. It was pretty ill-advised! Jake got altitude sickness on the way back up and we kept having to stop; he spent the next day in bed and thought he was dying. We made it though! We’ll never forget that hike :)

  71. Katrina on the April 10, 2011 remarked #

    Love it! I’m so much more casual these days. Once upon a time it was all about proving to myself and anyone who cared (did anyone, ever, though? really?) that I Could Do It. Now it’s about me having fun. And, like you, I really enjoy the slow pace that allows photography of both the big and little things along the way.

    This trip has been quite a revelation for you, eh? :)
    Katrina recently posted..Video- chewing camel

    • Ayngelina on the April 10, 2011 remarked #

      Maybe if I were on a short holiday I’d want to do it. But I doubt it, from now I’m joining the senior’s stolls so I have time to just hang out rather than power up a hill.

  72. Katrina Mauro on the May 23, 2012 remarked #

    lol. This post is so cute! I did the Inca Trail, but not the hike in the Canyon due to time constraints. I did a two day bus tour instead, which I wasn’t all that enthralled about, to be honest I think I would’ve preferred hiking. I’m not an avid hiker, but I would do the Inca Trail again.
    Katrina Mauro recently posted..Los Andes Bed & Breakfast – Arequipa, Peru

  73. Ian [EagerExistence] on the June 15, 2012 remarked #

    I’m the same when it comes to watching grand finals in sports. Live or on TV… I really just can’t get into it. I know its not travel-related, but I have a hard time faking my man-interest.
    Ian [EagerExistence] recently posted..No Posts Were Found!

    • Ayngelina on the June 15, 2012 remarked #

      I am the same way about babies, they just don’t do it for me and I’d rather not be around them.

  74. jackie on the July 24, 2012 remarked #

    I love this. I love love love this. You just didn’t want to. So you didn’t. And you found something that made you infinitely happier. Way to go. I was sitting here at home feeling a little sad about this and that, but reading this instantly cheered me up with conviction that we don’t have to always do whatever else is doing. We can go our own way. By ourselves. And be a lot happier. Woohoo!

  75. Ian Ord - Where Sidewalks End on the January 17, 2013 remarked #

    It’s good to learn your strengths and embrace your weaknesses. Many people try to do things they’re not made to do, when they could be spending time enjoying the things that they are. Not to say it’s a bad thing to try new things.. just realize when you’ve reached your limit and take it in stride.

    The next time someone tells you to ‘take a hike’, I suppose you can tell them it’s not your thing. ;)
    Ian Ord – Where Sidewalks End recently posted..Meet Off The Beaten Path Explorer: Gregor Snell

    • Ayngelina on the January 17, 2013 remarked #

      Hahaha good point!

  76. Arianwen on the August 29, 2013 remarked #

    I love that you and Michael both failed this hike. I almost had the same experience. We got lost trying to find the canyon in the first place and then hiked all the way to the Oasis with the plan to hike back out the same day in the afternoon heat! It was insane and we were so jealous of the people in the pool. But we ignored the mules and struggled back out again, just before nightfall! I will never forget that day!
    Arianwen recently posted..A Scenic Journey with KiwiRail

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