Contributed Story: Pooping and Machu Picchu

Posted on 28. Feb, 2009 by in contributed stories, peru

This story was contributed by Stephen Loase, lead singer of Lonely Mattress Salesman. He has some haters from this story, originally titled “Case of the Ruins.”  Go leave him a nice comment.  Here’s his story:

Special undies

Before the trip, I went to REI for camping equipment. I bought a fleece, backpack, and a very special item: a $25 pair of underwear you can wear for 4-5 days that doesn’t absorb odor/moisture. Happiness Level: A+

Coca Tea

We arrive in Peru. I notice the slight elevation sickness that everyone talks about so I drink the forbidden Coca Tea (made from pre-Cocaine leaves), which is supposed to dull the pain. Instead of the euphoric, drug-leaf-ridden tizzy I was hoping for, it made my stomach do jumping jacks while my upper intestine fell asleep with the door shut. Happiness Level: A-

Soup and nasty meat

We ate at various Peruvian diners. After eating 5 local meals I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what you order in Peru. You’re guaranteed two things: Soup and nasty meat. Let’s see, I’ll order the Lomo Saltado: steak with french fries. Yum-o right? Yum-oh-fuck-no more like it. A big bowl of bacteria-friendly, lukewarm chicken soup with various hard bits at the bottom to break your molars. Then a freeze-dried piece of steak, which was somewhere in between the process of making steak into jerky (you can’t enjoy it at either end). Not to mention the side of carrots and peas that made me want to run to the nearest Kaiser Permanente cafeteria on a Tuesday. Happiness Level: B+

The Trail

We discover an amazing 4-day tour called the Inca Jungle trail. This included a day of hiking, a few days of mountain biking, sleeping in a covered hostel each night and an air-conditioned bus ride to the top of Macchu Picchu. We do not take this trail. Instead we take the Salcantay trail, which is the hardest possible trail to take to Macchu Picchu: 5 days of hiking by foot, sleeping in thin tents in 20 degree weather, and a 4 am wakeup call to scale Macchu Picchu to the top. But hey, we’re all soft San Diegans who complain when it’s 65 at night, this should be easy. I’m so excited for the trek that I don’t even mind the soup and nasty meat the tour chef slops out. We arrive at the campsite, taking photos of the Andes in the distance. This is what life is all about, sharing great experiences with friends in remote places. Then it starts to hail. Happiness Level: B

The Flood

The tour group is excited to have made it to the first destination, laughing and monkeying around at the campsite. Night sneaks up on us as the porters set up our tents. We all barrel into a nearby shack as the cook serves us soup and nasty meat per usual. Then it starts to pour rain. The three of us run to our tent and zip up the flap as soon as we can get our muddy boots inside. We set up our backpacks in an attempt to sleep on the rocky ground. Soon the storm turns into a monsoon and water floods down the mountain under our tents (yes, the tents were setup at the bottom of a hill). The water soon turns to ice and freezes at the bottom of our tents. Sorta like sleeping on a waterbed in a freezer. Then water seeps into the tent, creating what I like to call a Cluster-Freeze. Happiness Level: F

The Huddle

We unzip the tent and run to the shack where we had eaten dinner. We scour for blankets or a place to sleep. At this point we realized the doorless shack was colder than the tent. We grab 3 of the small stools that we had used for dinner and rush them back to the tent. Into our shivering madness we did “the Huddle.” We position the chairs into a triad facing each other and huddled. David smartly suggested we put the one unsoaked sleeping bag over our heads. Unfortunately all 3 of us are equipped with blazingly fast digestive systems, and when I say blazing, I mean it. So here we are, recreating a scene from Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles where they eat beans around a campfire. Each horn that blew caused for a retreat from the blanket, which caused us to come up with a new game plan. We decided to mix it up, three in a row side-by-side, triangle position back-to-back-to-back, sleeping bag over top, sleeping bag over the legs. Nothing was working. We ended up 3 in a row as if we were riding a 3-man-motorcycle. 3 full grown men sitting on small child size stools like the 3 stooges in a canoe. Happiness Level: F-

The Hamster

No one sleeps that night as we brave the storm in our soaked tent. We finally come upon good luck in the morning as 2 French women are taking a 2-hour taxi ride from town to the campsite. We take the taxi back on a road with no pavement and plenty of slippery rocks. We hear that it’s common for the locals to eat “Cuy” or as we call it “Guinea Pig,” “Hamster,” or “Herbie”. We find a wandering chef to take us to his favorite local restaurant that served the pet delicacy. After our bowl of soup, Cuy is served. Rice, potato and a big brown ball of hot hamster served on a plate. I eat mine in silence as our chef tour guide stare at us. Thankfully the little guy doesn’t have much meat, just tons of little bones that I hide under the pile of rice. Sorry Herbie, you don’t taste good. Happiness Level: D+

Wannawhat?

After a night of eating late night pizza with questionable cheese and dipping hardly-fried fries into spicy yet tasteless green sauce, we wake and walk up the mountain trail to Macchu Picchu. The view is amazing, beautiful ruins made of rock and green grass. My stomach starts to rumble, leading to a verp of chocolate energy gel, acid and Hamster sauce. I stay positive and take it as a sign of my digestive system doing it’s magic. We decide to climb the highest mountain in Macchu Picchu called Wannapicchu, a 45 minute climb at a 45 degree angle. As we climb I notice how tired my legs are and start breaking a sweat. We reach the top of the mountain and I look down at my stomach. It gives me the middle finger as it gurgles the stew brewing below. It hits me. It was time to “go.” I rush down the hill. I glide down the mountain, clenching my backside harder and tighter on each bumpy step. A pack of German tourists block my path with a half-walk, half-stand-in-your-fucking-way while shooting off-center pictures of plants. I duck through their unwashed bodies. My stomach taps me on the shoulder and says, “If you’re not going to poop…”  I proceed to puke up water onto a patch of ancient rocks. A lady at the front of the bathroom is collecting 1 Sol ($0.30) to use the bathroom. I nearly punch her in the face (my wallet is in the storage bin). Thankfully I found a Sol in my pocket and take the best seat in the house. I say my final goodbyes to Herbie. Happiness Level: B to F to A+

Case of the ruins

I stay sick for the next 3 days, bed-ridden for one, popping antibiotics like popcorn and praying to survive our final days in Peru. The train to Lima is leaving in 10 minutes so we run to the station. As we arrive to the gate, I decide to let out one of my sickened farts outside of the train. As I let the bugle sound, I feel my shorts fill up as if I had made a smoothie with my ass. “Never trust a fart” my wise friend had once told me. I trusted, and now I have sharted. I run to the bathroom, lock the stall and pull my pants down to examine the damage. I had been spared. My special durable REI underwear had saved me, acting as a nest, holding in all of my “eggs.” I threw the $25 diaper into the trash bin and thanked the Gods of REI for sparing me after my case of the ruins. Happiness Level: D- to A+

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3 Responses to “Contributed Story: Pooping and Machu Picchu”

  1. Colin

    28. Feb, 2009

    I left in Stephen’s gross inaccuracies because they’re funny.

    Soups at local menus are as he described. And while the meat he had may have been consistently overcooked past his preference, it probably was never frozen. Freezers are a luxury item.

    I agree cuy sucks. And it is guinea pig. Not hamster.

    Many people commented on Stephen’s blog that he is a wimp or should have prepared better. Fuck that. He had an adventure. Even if those people could write as well, their stories probably aren’t worth telling.

  2. Johnny

    30. Apr, 2009

    ha. that’s hilarious.

  3. lance

    13. Sep, 2013

    Funniest shit i have read in awhile! I am surprised your REI undies held your eggs. When I am in Peru visiting in-laws, all my “eggs” are runny. Great writing. Will be back.

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