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Who doesn’t love a feel-good romance story? As the most romantic day of the year approaches, we speak to Reg and Conor, two lovely Exodus trekkers who recently got engaged on one of our adventures.
We’re thrilled for the happy pair and wanted to share their amazing story that proves that love is just one big adventure.
Over to you, Reg…
Inca Trail Proposal
First of all, this proposal was a COMPLETE surprise to me. The trip was planned because we LOVE to travel; getting engaged never came into why we decided to do this trip. I had always wanted to do the Inca Trail from seeing pictures of it down through the years and so last January, after speaking to our friend Jarlath about his experience there, we both said why don’t we just do it?
To be honest this was our first adventure holiday together. Conor would always have been much more into the big city holidays like New York, Tokyo, Miami, but I think after our trip to Peru he has been converted. T
There is something really great about new experiences like this, especially when it involves being out in the beautiful nature. You feel so free, and clear in your mind, and you definitely feel much closer as a couple.
I think you have more time to appreciate your surroundings, and although it is regarded as an adventure holiday, it really helped us to slow down in our minds and focus on what’s really important in life. It’s also a great challenge and one that we were lucky enough to succeed in together on this trip.
We set about researching some more about Peru and decided to go with Exodus for the Inca Trail part of the trip. We got in touch with the agent in Ireland who uses Exodus and the only date option left for us due to the limited Inca trail permits was from the 7th July – 10th July. We decided those dates were a good omen for us, as the 7th July is my Dad’s birthday and he had sadly passed away two years previous.
The thing is though, the 10th July, which was the day we were due to arrive in Machu Picchu, was also an important date: our eight-year anniversary. This didn’t even come into my head… Conor, on the other hand, as I later found out… had BIGGER plans for that day!
Reg and Conor at Machu Picchu
The trek started really for us both: no major difficulties and the weather held up for us too. Then the morning of the fourth and final day, we stuck our heads out of our tents and all we could see was a really thick fog which didn’t look like it was going to lift for the day.
I was GUTTED. This was the most important day to us, as we would be reaching our destination Machu Picchu, and all I could think of was, “We’re not going to be able to see it, after days of trekking, we’re not going to be able to see this magnificent site that is Machu Picchu,” and it was so disappointing, to say the least.
Conor was trying his best to reassure me, saying it will all work out ok. “When we get there the weather will have cleared, it will all work out Reg.” But little did I know, while I was a little fed up about the weather, Conor was panicking that he’d have to propose to me in front of a fog-covered Machu Picchu – not quite what he’d imagined!
So for the next 3 hours, we trekked through the fog. We finally reached the Sun Gate, which to those who know is the first point on the Inca Trail where Machu Picchu becomes visible, although distant. And of course, it was still surrounded in this thick fog. We were now both feeling a little defeated, but just thought right, we can’t do anything about the weather, but we are blessed to even be standing on this mountain, fog or not, so off we went on our final stretch.
Then about ten minutes from reaching Machu Picchu, Conor shouted to me to look up ahead. It was honestly like a miracle. The fog had lifted and there were just a couple of little clouds dusting Machu Picchu. The sky was blue, the sun started to shine, and we could see everything clearly. It was perfect!
By the time we reached Machu Picchu, it was late in the evening, so most of the tour companies were leaving to return to Aguas Calientes and other local towns, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves which was extra special. I was in awe of the view, I couldn’t believe I was standing in front of this site.
“WE DID IT!” I thought, “WE DID IT!”, and when I turned around to celebrate this realisation with Conor, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him.
Conor proposing at Machu Picchu
It was the perfect moment. We were perched on top of one of the (new) 7 Wonders of the World, after 4 days trekking across the most dramatic landscape that we have ever seen, no showers, not looking too hot, sleep-deprived, but we didn’t care because we DID IT, we made it, we achieved something that we were nervous we may not be able to achieve, and just as this was all settling with us, Conor got down on one knee and asked me if I’d marry him. It was UNBELIEVABLE.
Reg and Conor newly engaged
It was the most amazingly surreal end to the adventure of a lifetime, I almost can’t describe all the emotions that surfaced at that moment. We’ll never ever forget this trip and everything it gave to us.
Peru is a special place to us, not just down to the engagement, but it has a magic that neither of us ever experienced or expected. We just loved it. And Exodus was a dream to deal with. From our guide Will on the trek (whose video you can watch) to all of the AMAZING porters that work harder than anything we’ve ever seen and probably will ever see again, and always with a smile on their faces.
Just writing this makes us want to go back and do it all over again.
Whilst we can’t promise any engagements, we can certainly help you have the trek of a lifetime if you’d love to take on the world-famous Inca Trail.
Our thanks to Reg and Conor for sharing their heartwarming story with us.
If you want to create your own love story in Peru, view our trips to the Inca Trail below.