Tag Archives: Humming Bird

The Best Thing About Santa Teresa – Journey in Peru

It will never be said about Santa Teresa that ‘the best thing about it is the road out of it’. This is a figure of speech used in Ireland when poking fun at a rival towns-land. It was time to leave the cloud forest jungle and this tree-house style room in which I had spent two airy Peruvian nights.

The unpaved dusty wriggly road, high upon the canyon’s ledge lay waiting for me to chance it one more time, except this time the car travelled on the side closest to the edge. There was no getting used to it, especially when the driver met another vehicle at a particularly narrow bend and had to reverse to make way for it to pass. I just thought ‘if I die now at least I can say I have dared to live life to the maximum’. If I had died then I would have died blissfully ignorant of the truth I had neglected to heed.

I had brought with me to Santa Teresa a curiosity that needed to be satisfied. A woman of my imaginative creation desired to finally put her past to rest and move her life forward once and for all. I had written a story around her and it intrigued me as to how it really would pan out for her if she were indeed to settle in this country and live a traditional modest married life. She would come to an exotic place such as Santa Teresa to play out her romantic quest in a daring manner like never before.

Cloud Forest Jungle Peru www.wildstarlanding.com

Cloud Forest Jungle Peru

I pondered the sequel to this story as the canyon glided beneath the car window.A happily ever after ending would never do the trick. She deserved to be happy that was certain. But for how many years should she be allowed to retain that happiness? I thought I could reasonably allow her 15 years or so. A tragic accident would widow her and she would be faced with the decision to return to her home country or remain amongst her new family in Peru. There would be a twist too. All the ingredients of a good story or so I thought. Can you have too much tragedy in a story? If there is tragedy at the beginning is it over the top to subject the heroine to further misery towards the end?

All in all, perhaps my idea of tragedy was over-imagined. But to live a whole life without the knowledge of self that only comes from attempting to fully know another, would that not then be a tragedy? I wanted to divert my heroine temporarily from her tragic route.

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

From Santa Maria to Ollantaytambo Peru

From Santa Maria to Ollantaytambo Peru

By now I had transferred to the bus that took me from Santa Maria back to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. This time there were absolutely no seats remaining and I had to stand in the aisle. The air was still hot from the jungle. A nauseous unease welled inside me accompanied by a faintish daze. I must have looked like I was going to collapse on the seated passengers. Someone pointed to the rear of the bus and bodies made way. I squeezed into a corner of the back of the bus on the side that faced deep into the floor of the mountains footholds with all the windings of roads yet to be travelled set out like threads below. I stood in a leaning position as there were no seats in this part of the bus but at least I was secure enough not to collapse.

It occurred to me that my Ollantaytambo friends would be curious about my trip. I realised then how much that humming bird had come to my rescue. Without doubt, seeing this wondrous bird before my very eyes was the best thing about my visit to Santa Teresa. It was a blessing then as I diverted their further questioning and it was a blessing later when the dreams I had dared to realise fell to shambles.

I too had a story. I didn’t want anyone to know the truth of it. I did not want to be seen floundering with the eyes of the world upon me. For those days in Santa Teresa I fooled myself, thinking love was on its way. It was in fact withheld once again. I misinterpreted every word, every in-action.

As I stepped from the bus onto the cobbled stones of Ollantaytambo, I turned to wave goodbye. It was the start of a slow series of goodbyes but also the beginning of something new for I never felt about myself the freedom as I had then. I was living an adventure and my arms were wide open to the highs and lows that were to yet to come.

An Irish Woman’s Journey in Peru Live your life as if it is a movie and you are in the leading role

© Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing


Visitation of Beauty – An Irish Womans Journey In Peru

I have been at a loss for words to describe this following encounter I had whilst visiting Santa Teresa in Peru’s cloud forest jungle. I have been conflicted by the beauty of it because I cannot proceed with the remainder of my Peruvian tale until I have attempted to relay this part.

I awoke that first morning in my tree-house style room (Eco Quechua Lodge) with the warm breeze gently swaying the light-filled drapes that hung inside the wooden rails, where fell the jungles feet along the Urubamba (Vilcanota) River.

Humming Bird copyright Johnlric dreamtime.com

Humming Bird copyright Johnlric dreamtime.com

Birds were chirping and most likely there was a nest of them in the highest eaves of my room. I had packed sparingly and since I had chosen a room with the greatest view, forsaking the favour of an en-suite version, I had a little distance to travel to the nearest shower. The towels provided gave scant coverage so I wrapped myself in a sheet and waddled to the nearest cubicle crossing the stepping stone path.

Showering whilst looking out across the tree tops was bliss but nothing like the experience that was yet to come.

Sitting at the breakfast table on the platform overlooking the cloud forest on a balmy sunny morning, sipping papaya juice, I gazed beyond the flowering plants that popped their heads idly along the balcony. I had not yet deciphered the static chirps that hinted at the spectacle that was about to transfix my senses.

Along the Vilcanota / Urubamba River Author

Along the Vilcanota / Urubamba River Author

In nano-seconds my eyes were deceived by objects beyond the flowering plants. They appeared and disappeared so fast I had not time to ascertain what flickered there. And then it did appear. One single of the flickering bodies presented itself swiftly before my eyes.

For this brief moment I held myself on the border of my emotions unsure which was the most appropriate. I wasn’t breathing at this point.

The story of Peter Pan tickles my imagination and something of this creature, fanning its wings so fast they could barely be perceived as wings, beheld the magic of a visitation by Tinkerbell.

A joyous feeling began to overflow my heart at last deciding this was a most special experience a beautiful encounter with a humming bird ‘Colibrí’. It hovered mid-air for those brief moments only two arm lengths from my side and some seconds later flew out into the trees as swiftly as it had appeared.

Tree Top Paradise Peru - Wild Star Landing

Tree Top Paradise Peru – Wild Star Landing

I sat there mesmerised. This smallest of birds with the fastest of beating wings, with versatility of movement in any direction even upside down or backwards, had chosen to present itself before me.

I later discovered that some Peruvians believe it to be a messenger. The ‘Colibrí’ (Humming Bird) was certainly significant to the ancient Nazca civilisation as they featured this creature centrally in their mysterious Nazca lines. The meaning has been lost to present culture however but it wasn’t lost to me.

A humbling grace fell upon me. I felt immense gratitude. This encounter with beauty is held high amongst my most special experiences ever in my life.

That night I slept with my curtains parted so as to entice another visitation of this magical creature in my waking hours.

I was being quite wishful but realised even more that I had been blessed just once and once was more than I could be hopeful for.

Andean Slopes of Peru's Santa Teresa near Machu Picchu

Andean Slopes of Peru’s Santa Teresa near Machu Picchu

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing Blog