When I visited Peru last November, I spent four days/three nights hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
It. Was. AMAZING!
However, it did involve not showering for three days straight. I was able to fit in some makeshift bathing (hoe bath!), although most of the “bathrooms” consisted of a hole in the ground. Now, I’ve never been adept at squatting, let alone when it involves peeing. I seriously don’t know how other girls do it.
After urinating on myself several times I managed to get some sort of routine down.
What was my routine, you ask?
It went a little something like this: Remove right foot from hiking boot, stand with foot on boot, and COMPLETELY pull off my pants and underwear on the right side and shift them over to the left side. I would then put my shoe back on while still clutching said pant leg to be sure it didn’t touch the ground. Then I would squat as wide as my legs would allow, pee and pray none of it hit my feet or legs. When I was finished, I would stand up, remove foot from shoe, put pants and underwear back on (ensuring once again NOTHING hit the ground), and then put my foot back in my boot and retie my laces.
Thankfully, I managed to keep my balance each time and not topple onto the smelly ground.
It got to the point where I didn’t want to drink water because I didn’t want to go through this whole ordeal to pee. If a catheter had been available, I might have considered it as an option. In fact, I tried to fashion one out of my drinking straw, some duct tape and a Ziploc bag.
So, to review, I spent three days sweating in the hot sun, peeing on myself and “bathing” with wipes two times a day.
As you can likely imagine, a long line of gents formed around my tent each night, competing to share my sleeping bag. I smelled like a dream and looked like a Victoria’s Secret model. Oh yeeeeeeah!
On the last night camping, we had the option of taking a hot shower in exchange for a few soles. Yippee! Upon arriving at the campsite, I opted first to have a few cold beers. I believe I had three. Although that might not sound like a lot of alcohol, mix in high altitudes and not much food and this combination was sufficient for me to get a pretty good buzz. I believe I even debated not showering at all and continuing to drink instead.
The puff of dirt surrounding me prevailed, so I ran back to get my shower stuff and got in line. Only women were standing in line for two doors leading to the showers. I assumed the men’s shower area was on the other side. There was a grumpy bathroom “attendant” who appeared as if she might have been a prime candidate for working at the DMV. She signaled to me and another woman waiting that we were next. The other woman went in the door on the left, so I went in the door to my right.
When I walked in I saw men in various stages of undress and shrieked “Oh no!” as I covered my eyes and ran out. “I just walked into the men’s shower room!!!!” I yelled to no one in particular as I hopped around outside, covering my face and giggling awkwardly.
Why had the attendant not warned me and pointed out the Caballeros sign above the door???? She stared at me vacantly.
I then ran into the women’s shower area and immediately was faced with yet another line of waiting women. There were only two stalls in the small area and about five people in line ahead of me.
As I waited patiently for my turn, trying not to stare at the naked women everywhere, I looked down and realized I had not brought my towel. The last thing I wanted to do was face that stupid attendant again and lose my place in line!
So what did I do instead to dry off? I used my dirty clothes to wipe down my clean body.
Basically, I flushed five soles down the toilet, as I likely came out dirtier than when I went in.
I also was forced to do the wipe down while wearing an oversized leopard print thong. In front of a crowd of anxiously awaiting dirtballs.
Why do I own these underwear, number one? And number two, why did I bring them camping?
My mom actually gave them to me after she received them as a gag gift for Christmas. So I was wearing an oversized leopard print thong my MOM gave me.
Call me. Call me now.
Nothing says the great outdoors like a leopard print silk thong that comes up high enough to almost tuck your boobs into.
Moral of the Story:
When entering a shower area, check the sign above the door to ensure it indicates the sign for your persuasion.
Helpful hint: This usually involves a picture of a male or female for all you people who can’t read.
If you’re a person who is prone to confusion, you should also stay sober until after your shower as well.