Perspectives from a Mother

Travelling with three 20-something young women, two of them being my daughters, Alexis and Gillian, and her friend Leah and include my 20-something minded husband, Paul, can make for some interesting travel amigos. At 55, you sometimes feel you have earned some form of comfort on a “working trip”, as we call our travels that involve exploring new countries. Our family is not one to book a bus tour and see multiple sites and cities and at the end wonder, “What the heck was that that we had just visited?”

Before all this adventure began, we booked our Inca trek with www.enigmaperu.com in January, long before our May travels. My thought was, “Why can’t we take the train?” I had heard stories of how strenuous it was with the altitude acclimatization and the difficulty of the trek. However, as things go in this family, we always choose the more adventurous route. We were going to be away for three weeks but only had one week planned. Iʼm fine with these loose ends of travelling but have to know where I will be staying the first night that I arrive in a new country.

Sharon with her girls, ready to start the Inca Trail

Sharon enjoying the Inca ruins found along the Inca Trail

Paul, the 50-something who thinks he's a 20-something, climbed every climbable rock

I booked Terra Viva Saphi hotel in Cuzco where we stayed prior to our trek and post trek. It was a boutique hotel with robes in the room, steaming hot water, chocolates on the bed at night and a wonderful breakfast in the morning. Leah and Gillian were thrilled with this choice after sleeping in a tent and hostels. The prospect of leaving this comfort, trekking the Inca trail, and sleeping in a tent in below zero temperatures had me worried.

I shouldnʼt have worried. I felt the exhilaration of accomplishing the 42km trek in high altitude, sleeping on the hard ground, and not having to wash my hair or body for 4 days!

Two very grateful travelers

Sharon worked hard on the Inca Trail and kept up with the young ones

On the Inca Trail, Paul and Sharon celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary with a special cake made by the talented Enigma Tours chef

Sharon makes it to Machu Picchu no problem

Sharon took a particular liking to the flowers found along the Inca Trail

Sharon and crew taking in the sites and wonders of Machu Picchu

The whole family at the "Forever Young" Inca site

As the next week unfolded we found, at our hotel in Cuzco, a very willing travel agent who put together (with our own personal guide) trips to the Sacred Valley and a bus trip to Puno with interesting stops and lunch along the way. He also organized an adventurous homestay (without showers or electricity) on Lake Titicaca with a Peruvian Family. We had a great time enjoying the culture on the islands and all of our experiences were fantastic.

As read on GoneForWords, you can see how difficult it was to cross into Bolivia and made me start thinking that I had enough adventure.

But there upon finally arriving in Bolivia, there was still more adventure to be had.

Paul was keen on biking The World’s Most Dangerous Road. We booked at www.gravitybolivia.com. Again I was a reluctant to participate right up until the ride started. The guide started talking about the ride and I thought “I can do this”. The guide scrambled to find gear for me and then there I was hurling down this 64km of dangerous road. I loved every minute of it!

Paul and Sharon at 'postcard corner' on the World's Most Dangerous Road

We built in a little mother comfort and stayed at a fabulous boutique hotel, called Hotel Rosario with the best chocolate mousse south of the equator.

I had a fabulous time and am looking forward to further adventures with my family.