Love Changing Lives

Riaan, Traveller

We kept in touch via email, SMS and Skype. In April 2007, I invited Rocio for a holiday in South Africa. We spent three weeks together travelling around South Africa and we both enjoyed an amazing time.

After completing the Fish River Canyon and Naukluft hiking trails in Namibia in 2006, I decided to take on the most popular hikes in the world. In my research, the Inca trail kept surfacing and I finally decided to tackle it. The next step was to decide how and when.

While narrowing my search, I happened across G Adventures, which seemed like the most reputable company with which to take the trek. I ultimately decided on a three-week trip covering most of central and southern Peru. A short while later, I was in Lima, meeting up with 12 others from around the world for the start of our tour.

The country, the trip, our Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and our entire group were amazing. We completed the Inca trail on December 31, 2006 and the group was planning to go to Cusco’s Fallen Angel—a local discoteca—to ring in the New Year.

Following my experience on the Inca Trail, I was feeling a little under the weather but decided that I would go out, even if I were to leave soon after midnight. Unlike some of the single guys in my group, I wasn’t eager to meet any of the local ladies; our tour leader even advised caution in the event that we did.

For some reason, our hotel didn’t have hot water. As I’m not a person for cold showers, I just washed the vital areas and decided not to shave. Dressed in hiking clothes, trail shoes and a six-day old beard, I was not exactly dressed for the occasion.

When midnight struck, the party was in full swing, but I was planning to leave. As I was getting my stuff together, I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning around, I was met with a woman asking if she could use my lighter. All I could see were her beautiful eyes and gorgeous hair. Although she hailed from Peru, she could speak English and we started chatting long into the morning—until about 6am!

I can’t even recall what we spoke about for so long but I did remember something important—her name: Rocio. We arranged to meet the next day for lunch but I didn’t really expect her to show up. To my surprise, the next day she arrived at my hotel and we had lunch. We exchanged numbers and agreed to meet a week later in Lima for lunch. Once again, I didn’t expect our plans to amount to anything—but one week later, there we were, dining in Mira Flores. That night she took me to the airport. As I was leaving for South Africa, I thought that was the last time I might see her.

We kept in touch via email, SMS and Skype. In April 2007, I invited Rocio for a holiday in South Africa. We spent three weeks together travelling around South Africa and we both enjoyed an amazing time.

During this trip, we got engaged in Coffee Bay—one of the most beautiful spots on the Wild Coast in South Africa. A couple of rings that Rocio brought from Peru served as our engagement rings—they contained engraved images of the Nazca lines. We continue to use these rings today as our weddings bands! That’s right—on February 20, 2008 we were married in Johannesburg and are still happily married today!

The trip to Peru was amazing and I think it is safe to say that it was a life-changing experience. And G Adventures helped to make it possible. It goes without saying that G Adventures would be my first—and only—choice if were to venture to an unknown destination!


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