Peru Overland By Bus Summer 2012
Its usual on this forum to read accounts from folks who have visited exotic places using vehicles that they have procured, modified and outfitted for the task. If you look hard enough you’ll even find a couple of my accounts of such travels, generally involving much mechanical expense.
This trip was a little different because we traveled by public transport and therefore didn’t have to worry about that kind of thing. Besides, Peru is too far to drive from Massachusetts, USA for a five week vacation. Not to mention we didn’t think our Jeep would make it there, even with a new engine, gearbox and the fourth (or is it fifth?) fuel pump.
The four-strong team consisted of two couples: Debbie-and-Graham and Eileen-and-Rob. I’m Graham and somehow this was all my idea. It started when Rob and myself were driving back, probably from a day spent whitewater kayaking or rock climbing, musing over something interesting that all four of us could do and enjoy so I suggested hiking the Inca Trail in Peru.
For various reasons the four day hike along the Inca Trail in Peru wasn’t even remotely achievable but we all liked the idea of going to Peru and cruising the Gringo Trail by bus instead, seeing Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and a host of other interesting places. We would even stay in cheap hotels and because of that we’d be able to travel light with just hand luggage and arrange everything as we went.
Debbie and I wanted something around four or five weeks but unfortunately Eileen and Rob could only scrape two and a half weeks of vacation together and, understandably, didn’t want to leave their four year old daughter with grandparents for too long. We agreed to all fly out together, see the popular stuff in Southern Peru, then Debbie and I would head North after Eileen and Rob had flown home from Cusco. Dates were set in stone, airline miles were redeemed, bosses were informed, we resolved to learn Spanish and general excitement set in.
Hotels and hand luggage sounds like a straightforward combination but as we got closer to departure that turned out not to be the case for one of us.
Eileen is a travel agent by profession, plans trips down to the hour and I don’t think she’s ever stayed in a hotel that doesn’t have a private bathroom, robes and chocolates on the pillow. She was worried about everything and then some. Lack of luggage. Lack of planning. Lack of bathrooms. Lack of security. Lack of everything. Rob, Debbie and I had all been trying to keep her calm and objective but it really wasn’t looking promising. Finally Debbie turned the tide by demonstrating that four outfits, a down jacket, rain coat, towel, medicines, toiletries, cigarettes, etc. all easily fit into a 30 liter daypack with room for more.
To be honest I didn’t have much patience for that. Its not that Eileen didn’t have real concerns but I was simply more worried about Debbie who was recovering painfully slowly from foot surgery, couldn’t hobble for more than a few minutes at a time, and couldn’t squeeze that foot into regular shoes. Then two weeks before departure she got bronchitis which turned into pneumonia. The day before we left the x-ray finally indicated it was showing signs of healing.
Finally on June 6, 2012 the packing was as done as it was going to be, none of us had learned Spanish, and we met at Boston Logan airport for an overnight flight to Lima via Miami.
Last edited by grahamfitter; 07-21-2012 at 04:36 PM.
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