May 13th
written by Alonna

We’re going to Peru! When we tell this to people, quite often the response is “So why are you going to Peru?” Well, for one, Ben and I love to travel and see new places in the world. But mostly we choose Peru because of the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. This has been the top of my ‘places to visit’ list for a long time now. I believe the first time I learned of Machu Picchu was from the NBC Today Show’s “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” probably 10 years ago. Ever since I’ve dreamed of going there. So a couple months ago Ben and I decided it was time for another trip. Once I started exploring the possibility of Peru, I was hooked. And it’s been all I can think about for the past month!

There are definitely some new challenges for this type of trip. This is our first time to South America, and we don’t exactly know what to expect. We did need to get some immunizations for the trip, and have bought all kinds of extra clothing, electronics, and other necessities for this trip.

For one, we will be spending an excessive amount of time travelling. To get to Peru, we be taking 4 flights which will add up to a total of 24 hours travelling from start to finish! And that’s just one way. In addition, we will spend at least 3 hours roundtrip on a train, 1 hour on bus, and many many hours in taxis. So, to keep ourselves occupied we are bringing a ridiculous amount of entertainment – books, Nintendo DS’s (one for each of us), a portable video player (Creative’s Zen Vision W) loaded with movies and TV shows, puzzles, and music.

Another interesting fact is that we will be at very high altitudes in the Andes mountains. The first city we will visit is Cusco, which is the main base for visiting Machu Picchu. Cusco is situated at 11,000ft! Many people get altitude sickness when staying above 9,000ft. Since Ben and I have hiked to 14,000ft in Colorado and haven’t had troubles, we’re hoping we’ll be okay in Cusco. But just in case, I’m taking a drug called Diamox which is supposed to help.

Then there are the normal precautions to take when travelling to South America – mostly avoiding the tap water and uncooked foods. We’re bringing lots of hand sanitizer, mini toilet paper rolls (apparently public restrooms do not have TP), antibiotics, and we will be buying lots and lots of bottled water.

This is definitely a big adventure for us. I just can’t wait to get there and finally see Machu Picchu!

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