My Peru trip was stuffed with all the adventure, culture and life lessons in the world. But let’s face it – no story is complete without a little love in it. I joined my travel mates in Peru after the majority of them had already been traveling for about a week or so. During their time together in Peru before they were graced with my presence, a really special relationship was brewing between all of them, and I was about to dive in. In the mix of it all, a tiny love spark was beginning to sizzle.
Our pretty Peruvian guide, Gaby, is all heart and soul. Having grown up in the mountains of Cusco, her endless knowledge of Peru poured all over us, educating us more and more and every day on our travels.
From wearing high-heeled boots around the cobblestone streets of Cusco, being tiny enough to fit into a shirt pocket, having been moved to tears at the onset of the Super Moon, and feasting on the biggest fried guinea pig you could ever imagine, Gaby is a true Peruvian.
Dan from Washington, or shall we refer to him as “Mr. Dan-tastic,” or “Dancing Dan,” was right in front of me the majority of the time while hiking the Inca Trail. Did he have any clue at the time of booking his trip that he would meet the love of his life in one of the most fantasized ways possible? I’m guessing not.
It didn’t take much for the spark to initiate.
Ashley merely alluded to the fact that Gaby and Dan were becoming pretty close, jokingly calling Dan Gaby’s husband. Everyone laughed and didn’t really put much thought into it . . . until they actually were becoming pretty close. Too close to ignore or be oblivious to, such as the two of them mysteriously emerging from the forest, disappearing as the sun set, or simply the way the two of them started looking at each other.
On one of our last days in Cusco, Gaby took us all to her family home where she grew up. We had the pleasure of meeting her mom, who had a surprise waiting for us: freshly cooked guinea pig on a platter. A truly authentic and one of a kind experience it was, including the surprise that Dan had for her. He asked Gaby’s mom in the Spanish native to Cusco if he could marry her daughter. Gaby translates what he said and we all erupted into laughter and cheers, most mid-guinea pig-chew.
Well, it looks like to this day, the two of them spend as much time together as possible, despite living in two very different countries. I keep up-to-date from Gaby’s Facebook posts. Funny how the girl from the mountains has Facebook and the guy from Washington does not. Gaby flies up often and the two do a little traveling of their own, around the States and to Mexico just recently.
I consider myself lucky that my time in Peru was lead by someone like Gaby: truly one of a kind. Every day Gaby was there for us, even at the worst of times: when our bus broke down in the pitch black on the side of a cliff, rushing to the pharmacy for those dropping like flies getting sick, or when recently stung by a wasp and in loads of pain still coming to watch me do the canopy climb, cheering me on.
I bet everyone who traveled with me in Peru would agree that it was such a treat to have Gaby as a guide and witness the relationship grow between her and Dan. It just adds to my way of thinking that everything does have a meaning and has a way of working itself out, usually when you least expect it.