Tagged with planning
There is a pretty amusing pattern we've fallen into when selecting and checking into a new hotel, cabin, bungalow, etc. On the island, it's a particularly comical process.
Most of the bungalows are made of cement with wood or bamboo "accents" (and sometimes even wood accents made of painted cement!). They are in varying states of construction, repair and disrepair (and sometimes all three).
When finding a new place to stay or observing a new road we haven't visited we always check the beachside resorts. Our little hunt goes as follows.
We drive down a paved main road on the island, then down a paved side road. As we head farther east from west or north/south from midland west coast, the pavement becomes ever narrower and cracked. As we angle downhill, maybe take a fork off ... View Story »
Say hello to our little friends. We ditched our hiking backpacks for some rolling duffels. These badboys store 90L (instead of 70L in our backpacks), they roll, AND they have backpack straps in case we need to carry them (briefly) at some point. We don't expect there to be nice flat tarmac everywhere we go. They are also MUCH easier to pack and unpack, which is the main reason we got them. Fully packed they weigh 45lbs each, keeping us safely under most checked luggage limits. Besides these we only have one carry on each. We never thought we'd spend so much time thinking about and dealing with luggage!
We're starting to plan our next steps, and are looking for dynamic ways to search for cheap travel. While not exactly dynamic or comprehensive enough, this Kayak feature is interesting to play with. It allows you to explore flight prices others have found on Kayak starting from a fixed place and allowing you to select a given time. Enjoy!
Apparently if you are trying to buy flights on Gol with a US-based MasterCard, it only requires the card number. Name, security code, etc? Nah. It doesn't matter though, since the card was declined due to known issues they are having with international cards.
EssayOn the up and UP
Things were ebbing when we arrived in Cusco and are now flowing again as we near the end of our first week. It took a little while to find a good pad. On our first night there was a crazy amount of noise reverberating off the walls in our street-side room. On our second, the uncanny smell of sulfur which the lazy owner - who had yet to change out of her pajamas - claimed to be sewage from the street. Since we had no internet and have never known sewage to smell like a steamy hot spring, we strapped on our gear at 9:30pm, paid for a half day and left. We were tired of smelling shit - our bathroom for the last month had bad plumbing that smelled like dirty Chinese food and we had to shower in a toilet stall used by 40 women during the day.
But we're happy to report that since Tuesday ... View Essay »
From a cursory look it seems we won't be hiking the Inca Trail or riding to Machu Picchu. It looks like it would cost about $150pp to go by train and bus (from Cusco alone) and around $500 to hike the trail with guides, porters, cooks, etc. Since 2001 you can't hike the trail alone and even just the assistance of a guide is around $50 per day.
To be honest, so far we don't really feel lured in. We absolutely want to hike in the Andes and the surrounding hills and will do so with the assistance of a trained expert, but hiking to Machu Picchu seems such the tourist option. If we hiked the trail we would only really be able to afford that one experience for a few months. Would it be worth it?
Has anyone gone? What did you think about the experience?
We placed a down payment on our apartment yesterday. It's not ours yet - we don't move in until Saturday - but we're hopeful the search is over! It's in a central part of Miraflores near a beautiful park and many small restaurants just waiting to be discovered down all these little side streets. It's about a 10 minute walk to where the air starts to smell salty and you can see the Pacific.
Our landlord is a Southern - we expect ex-military - gent named Ian (EYE-I-N, not EEE-I-N) who has been living in Lima for three years. Our apartment is part of a building of apart hotels - ours is one of the only actual apartments. It's a cute, sizable place whose decor is reminiscent of the 70s. And we have - count them - four, real gas burners. Gasp.
Most apartments here are geared towards ... View Post »
We're almost ready to go. And by ready, I mean we acknowledge the inevitability of that 6:15am flight - it hasn't been cancelled yet - and we are moving towards it. We're whittling down our checklist, task by task; labeling and stowing boxes under beds and in closets, fruit rollup-ing all our shirts and pants and laboring over the use of each book. My thoughts are at war: the sea of tasks still left and the sadness of leaving home are wrestling with the adventure to come.
All the copying and faxing and scanning and storing, moving intangible bits of data from this pink plastic box to that blue one seems never-ending. And yet it's a cathartic process. If we could just be in Peru - BANG! - we would probably pass out from the disorientation. Some of life's big changes need little steps ... View Post »