PART I  Jeremy and I head out mountain climbing to Mt Ausungante.

Fulfilling one of my lifetime dreams was to take both my sons to Peru as a graduation present from college.  For the past nine years, I have been involved in learning energy medicine from the native South American people called the Q’ero.  I have found their practices to be so closely aligned with nature, that it has been a great source of comfort. There were several legs of the journey that you will see, but first, was our trip to the most sacred mountain in the Andes, Ausungante.  I was called to see the mountain Dona Teresa in one of my classes, and the only way to see it was by getting to Ausungante first.  A 4 hour ride outside of the Inka Capital, Cusco, took us up to 14,000 feet. Pretty high.

Along the way, you see almost every kind of animal living peacefully on the land.

We had to make a stop on the road where the Q’ero women were taking sheep, alpaca, bull, and other animals across.

Of course we had to get out and look, and being city folk, we were so fascinated by all of the animals. Seeing a herd of sheep, alpaca, some cows, and a few other animals crossing the highway, is not something you see every day in the United States.

This lovely Q’ero woman dressed in the traditional attire of her community and her alpaca stopped for a photo with my son. This alpaca was apparently quite attracted to my son and wanted to give him a kiss!!

When we arrived to the base of the mountain, we found that we were staying on the grounds of a wonderful family who owned an Alpaca farm. The owner, Jose Louis, was kind enough to walk us around his property and give us a tour. Jose Louis explained how lucky he was to have this wonderful herd of Aplaca. His pack had a multitude of colors, which is very good when selling their wool to markets that make things from Alpaca. Apparently there are thirteen different colors of Alpacas, and then of course, there are the colors made by blending the wool.

Here you see Jose Louis catching one of the younger alpacas to show us what they looked like up close and personal.

Jeremy and I were very entertained by how Jose Louis was able to just pick up one of the alpaca who was scrambling to get away.  When you own an alpaca farm,  I guess this is one thing that  you are good at.

Here Jeremy is getting to pet this beautiful brownish alpaca who is pretty shy, but Jose Louis is holding on.

Next we went back to our campgrounds where our tents were set up for us. We were at 14,000 feet where it gets pretty cold. That night it got down to about 23 degrees.

This was our view from our tents. There she was Mt. Ausungante, the highest and most sacred Mountain in all of the Andes

Well, neither my son or I are used to camping out.  Especially with no air mattresses and on hard ground when it was 23 degrees outside.  We both had some problems with the altitude, but nonetheless, the next day, we headed up our trail.

Jeremy was able to hike up for about 2 hours with our wonderful guide, cook, and friend, Santos.

I didn’t even try to hike, I started out on a horse, which they brought along with us in case someone like me can’t make it up climbing. However, as we got farther back down the mountain, I was able to start hiking.

On my way down, I was able to hike. Somehow, I was able to adjust to the altitude and I found my sea (mountain) legs.

Finally, we made up to where we could see Ausungante up close and personal. It’s hard to explain the awesomeness of this sight.

We would have had to hike at least 8 more hours to get to the very base of Ausungante, but being just this close was breathtaking.

And as we climbed in closer to Ausungante, there was the feminine mountain, Dona Teresa. In Q’ero belief, she is mountain that is meant to heal broken hearts.  I felt like both Jeremy and I could use to spend some time with her. By the age of 22, who doesn’t suffer some kind of broken heart?  I guess I won’t know if it healed anything in either of us for a while, but, nonetheless was compelled to make this journey.

Dona Teresa. The feminine mountain where the Q’ero go to mend broken hearts. The lineage on my mom’s side was filled with broken hearts, and it is my hope that somehow making this journey, I have helped the lineage from my mom and forward to my children.


On our way back down, even Jeremy gave in and decided to ride a horse. It was okay, he hadn’t slept the night before and at 14,000 feet he had done a lot of climbing that day.

When we got back to camp and saw how far we had climbed up to that huge sacred mountain, we were both pretty pleased with ourselves.

Even the horses were tired from the journey that day.

So, we said goodbye to the beautiful people of Ausungante and headed home.

This young girl was a family member of the families who lived by the base of the awesome mountain. She certainly is beautiful.

It didn’t take long for Jeremy to fall asleep on the way home after not sleeping very well for 2 nights, some stomach issues due to altitude, and hiking at 14,000 feet. All in all, I would say it was a great adventure and a successful trip. They say the only place you grow is outside of your comfort zone, and so we definitely must have grown from this experience.  I treasure every moment of it that I got to share with my son, which made this all the more special.

I had one tired son, who was quite the trooper. I was very proud of him, and I pray that our journey will do what the Q’ero believe. I know that the two of us had an amazing time together as a mom and son and I am more grateful to him for coming along than he will ever know. Well, maybe some day he will do something like this with his children!!