Nov14

2016 Peru

This was our first time in South America and i have to say, it was a blast! Viva Peru! For this trip, we wanted a little more outdoorsy type stuff and Renu was crazed about the prospects of being able to visit the Amazon Jungle. I was excited about climbing a mountain and sleeping on some mountainside pods, so we decided what better place than Peru to see it through… I’m not entirely sure why, maybe i just figured it was relatively easy to visit due to its proximity to North America, but I’ve been putting off South America for years. And boy do i regret it. I got to bust out my 7th grade Spanish (Thanks, Mrs. Asenho, i retained a decent amount and you were a great teacher!), and people in Peru were extremely nice. This marks the first time ever that we used a tour company at the suggestion of my colleague Jason O’Brien, and while the tour was amazing, and we had great guides, Renu and i decided that tours are just not for us. We found this out the last day in Lima when we were on a bus getting ready for our Lima city tour, something just didn’t feel right, so we got off the bus. We ran into some folks on bicycles, asked where they rented them from, we got there, rented two and off we were. From that moment on, we really felt free. I guess we don’t like the idea that you are seeing what the tour company wants you to see vs. what is actually out there. That’s probably our biggest complaint. Don’t get us wrong, we could have changed the itinerary and it wasn’t the tour companies fault, obviously, but more about how we like to travel. We like to plan less and see where things take us. So no more tours for us. Anyhow, we visited three major areas, Puerto Maldonado, Cusco, and Lima. New York City, seen from Newark: Puerto Maldonado Here we stayed at the absolutely amazing Amazonas Refugio lodge. Puerto Maldonado is already on the cusp of the forest, but then to get to this lodge – you take a boat ride for 2.5 hours!!! to the lodge. And once you reach the shore of the lodge it’s about another 15-20 minutes into the forest. So make no mistake, you are in the motherfuckin’ forest by the time you get there. This isn’t one of those forest ‘feeling’ type places. Oh no. You are in the thick of it. And that’s by design. The owner wanted you engulfed in nature with no noise, no distractions other than nature itself. A 100% success. Amazingly, they even had (weak) wifi. Anyhow, while here, we were completely captivated with the facilities and wildlife. The facilities consist of a huge main lodge, which serves as a lounge, bar, cafeteria and library, houses a lot of people at once. And there are three large wings which house the bungalows. In each room, you have three walls only. The fourth wall is completely open (Without screen) to the forest. We saw and heard birds, small animals and huge butterfly’s. You sleep with mosquito nets over your bed which was different and the sound of insects at night was almost deafening. We also got a taste of Red Howler monkey’s in the middle of the forest (Sounds like some crazy machine!): [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfG5UU-1s8c[/embedyt] But overall an amazing experience. Something very special and unique. I would highly recommend this to couples and small families alike. Each day is filled with activities, from kayaking/canoeing, nighttime Cayman hunting, all sorts of stuff. Anyhow, enjoy the pics: A video of the macau’s here: [embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo4_jV7CKNk[/embedyt] Cusco Cusco seemed the quintessential South American city. Beautiful old architecture, lots of pride and tradition and lastly many sites and shopping! It has an extremely high elevation 12,000 feet...