Summarised in to 5 beautiful points.
When I write about travel or most specifically my own experiences, i try to achieve two things. Firstly, to make others want to do what I have done and secondly, to make people maybe a lil jealous ( yeah I actually said that )
This post will attempt to do neither of those things. Instead, as ever I will try to make this as comical as possible in the hope that you will laugh about this disaster of a trip and throughly enjoy my misfortunes.
1)Never ever make a decision about anything after visiting five vineyards in Mendoza.
Whilst I had actually wanted to complete the TDP for a while, to be honest with you I didn’t really know that much about it. … Needless to say that when discussing options over yet more wine and a dubious pizza, I agreed… if not suggested that we have a complete experience and instead of sleeping in a warm Refugio each night, that we camp. what the actual fuck?!?
2) I perhaps realised the error of my ways when it came to collecting all the equipment. Pots, pans, poles, tent poles, tent, food for four nights etc. BUT I will stop you there because, actually, I didn’t carry any of this. Why? why because I was a girl, the man decided to provide me with a child of a backpack. Once the worlds biggest and might I add heaviest sleeping back and my DSLR camera were packed into my backpack this left little room for anything else. Okay this still might seem like a good thing.. Not. Whilst every morning others would wake up with the knowledge that their pack would be a little lighter, I did not obtain that luxury. That my friends is no picnic.
3) And so then I learnt the greatest lesson of all time about footwear. I had bought a pair of walking boots in December for this adventure coming up in March. I had believed that I had sufficiently walked them in. No, no… and HELL NO. Whilst I somewhat managed to get through the seven miles from Lake Pehoe to Camp Grey, I woke up the next morning feeling rather uncomfortable. This was only to get worse. The hike on the second day ( Grey to Italiano eleven and a half miles) was the worst day of 2016. I’ve crashed a bike into a wall, been hit by a button lift on a ski slope, had various headaches, stomach and toothaches and had a tattoo and although Ive never broken a bone .. touch wood. no pain has ever compared to the pain the blisters on my feet caused. Now, I’m no stranger to the emotional tear but its rare that physical pain effects me that much that people actually stopped to ask if I was okay whilst walking along. Apparently I looked as dreadful as I felt. The sad thing was, even though this day drew to a close I knew I had 3 more days of this torture.
4)And so with my feet, my heavy backpack and dubious nights sleep in a tent I didn’t think that things could get much worse as I plodded along. This was of course until my phone ran out of battery. And so alone I walked ( stumbled) musicless, with my own evergoing meandering thoughts as to why I was there and not a beach in costa rica with a Pina Colada or 6…
5) When you google image search the TDP the most common image you will stumble across is ‘The Mirrador’ ( do this now). It’s nice isn’t it. The way that the pink light falls upon it at sunrise, how its perfectly reflected in the water below. Even the people there look happy. Their eyes hazy, half in awe at the moment in time that stands before them at this great bucket list moment in their life, and half from the whiskey they’ve drunk from their metal cups. How amazing would it be, to be there? Lovely. But I wasn’t there I didn’t see sunrise and I didn’t drink whiskey out of a metal cup- and why? Why.. because of my fucking feet.
There was no way at 4am, in pitch darkness, feeling cold and extrememly dizzy from lack of little toes that I would have been able to hike it up there. Although to this day it probably is my biggest regret that I didn’t see it, looking back, even now, I know that I wouldn’t have been able to. I made a decision to stay in my tent and sleep, to be awaken by the return of happy campers after such an amazing experience. LOL.
( If I had a photo of the Mirador this is where I would put it!)
In short we can learn two things from this experience.
1) feet are valuable, get good shoes.
2) Life does not always go to plan and this is of course inclusive of travel. I guess over the past two years I have been lucky with people, situations and … shoes. But hey, you can’t win them all.
I am not entirely sure what I expected from the TDP, it certainly wasn’t to be miserable or angry.
Perhaps this is why we shouldn’t plan extensively or have great expectations. You can never know what’s going to happen or how its going to make you feel. However, if there’s one thing I know and what I will always preach is that the fear of being unhappy should never tread on the toes of your happiness, and this is why, you should always chase your dreams.
I’ll leave you with my favourite quote.
Going after a dream has a price.
It may mean abandoning our habits
It may make us go through hardships
Or it may lead us to disappointment
But however costly it may be, it is never as high as the price paid by the people who didn’t live.
[PART 2 COMING SOON]
[to follow my journey:
Filmed/ Captured with Canon G7X, Canon 60D & Iphone6]