It’s never easy to make a post like this. Even when the right words are swirling around in my head, they never come out right on paper (or screen). Putting it into words makes it all too real.
On Saturday, on our way out of the village of Machu Picchu we suddenly and unexpectedly had to say Goodbye to our beloved friend and family member, Dante.
We were at the end of this Machu Picchu adventure, heads held high in accomplishment. Just beginning the 11-kilometer hike that would take us back into civilization and away from the magic of the mountain.
It was the day of our 2nd-year anniversary abroad since we left the United States.
Just as we did a few days before, we walked along the railroad tracks, gazing up at the Andes mountains talking about what a beautiful day it was.
The atmosphere was alive with the sounds and energy of nature that come with a day of sun after the rain. Birds, butterflies, an army of ants, and even a bright red centipede had stopped us in our tracks to look down in wonder.
Dante had wandered off the trail with curiosity, too. He was gone for just a minute and when he came back nothing was the same. In just a few moments he shuddered, collapsed to the ground and took his last breaths as we watched in despair.
It took some time before we knew what had happened and Carlos realized that he had seen the distinct punctures marks of a snake bite. As we walked away, one family member short, the haze of the shock started to thin and we put together the pieces of what has just happened.
At the end of our walk, we confirmed our suspicions, as the locals told us that venomous snakes can be found off the paths and near the river. Two very dangerous types, in particular, one of them being a Viper.
It was heart-wrenching to get into that taxi and pull away from the jungle without our sweet Dante. But, there was nothing more to be done. And we blew our kisses on last time into the breeze, allowing our puppy to claim his resting place under the majestic Machu Picchu.
Farewell, dear boy! Our hearts ache for you and we feel your void in every second of the day.