Top Ten Peru Travel Tips (spoiler: bring your own t.p.)
Historically, the times that I ve actually known what I was talking about have been few and far between. This is particularly true when it comes to travel, or geography, or really, facts of any kind.
Once, when we were in downtown Seattle, a middle-aged couple stopped Rand and me and asked where they could find a liquor store (at 2pm on a Saturday. I suppose they were putting the magic back in their relationship). I gave them very specific directions that, had the couple followed them to the letter, would have led them not only the wrong way down a one-way street, but nowhere near a liquor store. Rand looked on, in awe he would later tell me that I spoke to the couple with such confidence that, against his better judgement, he didn t question it.
I have no idea what became of that couple. Odds are, they probably gave up, headed home, and promptly divorced. But some small part of me is convinced that they are circling those blocks down which I sent them, doomed to spend an eternity yelling to each other, It must be here. She said it was here. And she sounded so confident.
The lesson is a simple one: asking me for advice is a terrible idea and it will ruin your marriage if not your life. And yet, on a nearly-daily basis, some poor misguided soul sends me an email, asking me what they should do in x country, and where they should stay. My response is usually, HOW THE HELL SHOULD I KNOW? GO ASK THE INTERNET.
And then I realize with no small measure of horror, some people have already done that and ended up on my site. To them, I am the internet. I am filled with curse words and rude comments and things you weren t looking for.
And on very rare occasions, just like the internet, I have an answer. Like when blog-reader and certified chicken hawk wrangler (I totally made one of those up) Janine mentioned that she was going to be traveling to Peru. Janine sent me a message on Facebook (because she liked the Everywhereist fan page. Hint-hint) and I was quick to reply with some actual useful information, which I ve shared below. Hopefully, I ll was slightly more helpful to Janine than I was to that poor couple looking for liquor. Funny thing, too, because god knows they needed a drink after what I put them through.
- Instead of a visa, you will get an Andean Migration Card a little white slip of paper that will be handed to you, rather nonchalantly, at the airport. Like your virginity, no one will impress upon you the importance of it until it is lost. That slip of paper is as important as a visa you will need it when you check into hotels and when you leave the country. So don t get drunk and hand it over to the next guy who comes along.
- The sun in Peru is intense, even when it is cloudy. Be sure to wear sunscreen. We all got scorched in Machu Picchu, but that might be because we re pasty Seattlites. Ever lift up a rock and see the bugs underneath writhe around in a panic? That s us on a sunny day.
We expose ourselves to melanoma while enjoying the scenery.
Dessert at Bembo s. I was very happy. Rand was very dorky.
They also had a bunch of guinea pigs in a pen.
Rand with Nicolas, our totally awesome tour guide who spoke English, Spanish, Quechuan, and Japanese.
So there you go proof that I m not entirely worthless when it comes to giving advice. Unless it involves finding liquor stores in my hometown. Then you re on your own.
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