So I was finally able to escape to the countryside of Peru this weekend to an incredibly breathtaking place called Obrajillo.
It was a nice relief from the bustling, sometimes hectic environment in Miraflores where I live at the moment, a much needed escape to nature, and some peace and quiet.
It took about 3-4 hours all up to get to Obrajillo, we (my friends Josh, Aaron and I) had to take a taxi to northern Lima, then get in a tiny, cramped combi van to take us 2 and a half hours along bumpy mountain roads to Canta, then from there we took another combi to the campsite, by which time it was gone nightfall so we had to work out how to put up our tent with the help of one handy head torch.
We set up camp about 20 meters from the waterfall and a river, so it was like falling asleep to the sound of a water lullaby each night! (I don’t know if that is a thing or if I just made it up 😛 )
We woke the next day and were able to appreciate the true beauty of what surrounded us in the light of day, and we had it all to ourselves!
The air was so fresh, it was like every breath you took in was cleansing your soul (as cheesy as that sounds).
To be surrounded by such understated beauty is overwhelming.
This place was a hidden treasure, there were no big fancy signs, no tourists in sight, nothing that tried to replicate some desirable image in a travel handbook.
The best thing about Obrajillo, was that you could take what you wanted from it; the experience was not dictated, as some tourist adventures are, and it is those kind of places that are really special.
So we woke up to the sun streaming in through the fly screen of our tent, had some breakfast and got ready for the day.
Josh had his own portable coffee kit (he is an expert barista/coffee man!), so we ground and made our own cold press coffee by the river as the temperature soared.
We had been sitting in silence, taking in the serenity,
(cue “hows the serenity”- The Castle, reference ha ha),
when all of a sudden we heard, what we thought was a rock slide, behind us.
We turned around to see a stampede of sheep running down the incredibly steep rock face.
They arrived at the bottom of the mountain and set up their own camp right by our tent for breakfast.
So we sat and watched and eventually attempted to befriend them whilst trying to avoid being rammed by one particularly sassy one. They were so cute!!!
Anyway the sheep herder came around to us and told us he has been looking for the sheep, and then asked us to stop them from going up the mountain again while he was off doing something or other, so for a short time there we became sheep herders which was fun.
I can add that to the resume now.
After our new friends had left, we decided to climb the mountain, and try and retrace the path they had taken coming down.
We were struggling to find the same route the sheep had stormed down, but we were determined, so eventually with a little less grace than the sheep, we managed to scale our way up the mountain.
We eventually made our way back just in time, right before the rain arrived.
What had begun as a scorching hot day in shorts and a t-shirt, had suddenly turned into torrential downpour.
We lay on the grass outside for as long as we could in blankets before our common sense prevailed and we took shelter in our tent.
We left the door open and sat there for hours watching the rain shower the landscape and flood the river as our tent took a merciless beating from above.
We lay there wondering at what point we would need to take any action to stop it from collapsing on us, and also wondering if there was anything we could actually do to stop it.
It really was the most fantastic sight, but it wasn’t enough; I got sick of seeing only a snapshot of what was going an around me, so I put on my raincoat and ventured out of the tent for a little while, wanting to feel the rain on my face.
I walked up to the waterfall and sat on the little ledge, watching nature take in the heavens as they surged down to earth.
I took off my hood and let the rain at me, and it felt like every worry I ever had was being washed away.
I felt like a giant looking down at the world as I watched life go on around me.
Everything was so clear, so vivid, I felt like I had never been so close to nature before.
Every color, so distinct, and every sound I heard connected me to another element as if it was right next to me: the bark of a dog, the laugh of a child on the other side of the river, the chirping of birds as they zoomed around in the sky.
You don’t realize how easy it is to connect with the world if you just take a moment to breathe and listen.
In that moment it felt like this was all that would ever matter, the simplicity of just being and breathing and seeing.
You could say that not a huge amount happened on the weekend, but then again you could also say that EVERYTHING happened.
It just depends on what you decide to take from the moments that occur every day around you.
You can take so much from the little things in life, and I think if everyone took an extra moment a day to just be and breathe, the world would be a much happier place.
Anyway I will stop being all deep and meaningful now and tell you about the dog that Josh, Aaron and I’s adopted (unofficially)!
One of the owners of the campsite owned a few dogs which roamed around, one in particular was with us from the moment we got there to the moment we left.
She led us to our campsite in the dead of the night which turned out to be the most beautiful spot available, and then she came back in the morning to check up on us (on her own accord!).
We decided to unofficially adopt her, we called her Annie after much deliberation!
So eventually we had to say goodbye to Annie, but we trusted she would bring many other people great joy, just as she brought to us.
We left the campsite on Sunday morning and made our way back to Canta where we got some breakfast and then took another bumpy car ride back to Lima.
It was fantastic weekend with some really good friends, I don’t know what more I can say, except it made me smile and laugh a lot.
But anyway, i’m back in Miraflores now, until tomorrow that is, as I am moving to Barranco tomorrow which is about 5km away from where I live now, a pretty cool bohemian part of Lima, so i’m looking forward to more adventures there!
p.s I got interviewed for Wisden India talking about women’s cricket and what i’m doing over here 🙂 So it has been an exciting few weeks for me!
Much love to you all, I hope i’m doing this blog thing right!