Saturday, August 19, 2006

Peru 2006

My wife and I went on a great vacation this summer. The planning started over a year ago when I was looking into going to the Galapagos and Easter Islands. After looking at all the literature, we decided it was too expensive and would take too long. We know our limit on the road is around 10-14 days. Looking into alternatives, I suggested Peru.

Why Peru? Well, when I was a kid, I was interested in UFOs, Ancient Astronauts, and all the other bogus stuff that kids can sometimes be interested in. Peru is full of that stuff - the Nazca Lines and Machu Picchu are the major ones.

I went to AAA and asked about Peru tours since planning this trip alone seemed a little overwhelming. One of the suggested tours caught my eye - General Tours' Grandeur of Peru. The tour was 12 days (2 travel days and 10 days in Peru) and covered Lima, the Nazca Lines, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Puno, The floating Islands of the Uros, and Lake Titicaca. The only thing it really didn't cover was the Amazon portion of Peru which suited us fine since neither of us were
interested in the jungle. We booked the trip in December 2005 with a departure date of 16 July 2006.

All I can say about the trip is that it was awesome. It beat all expectations and the funny thing is, it was the small things that made it wonderful. My jaw dropped when I saw the waves and waves of birds flying near Ballestas Island (near Paracas). The incredible view of Machu Picchu from the peak of Wayna Picchu - Wow. The fun game of dress-up on the floating Islands of the Uros (I wasn't sure about this but it turned out to be fun).

This was my first experience on a multi-day guided tour and I wasn't sure what to expect. I was afraid that I wouldn't see all that I wanted to see. I thought the tour would be slowed down by slow tour members and that there would be a lot of whining from malcontents. I was totally surprised. Our tour consisted of 20 people - 20 people who were never late, never complained, and got along remarkably. I know we were lucky. Talking with more experienced tour members indicated that this group was better then normal. The tour guides said that we were one of the easiest groups they had ever had. This made for a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

I took over 550 pictures. Only a few captured the awe and majesty that I saw.

This trip really touched me deep down. The Travel bug has bitten me hard and I can't wait to plan our next vacation. I only hope it will live up to Peru.


--To Be Continued? --

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