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Old 2nd March 2011, 11:39   #16
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Default Re: Planning !

Originally Posted by abhijitaparadh View Post
Iquitos flight was tricky, just one local company flies there and that too one hop. No direct flight. Tricky in the sense that, Iquitos is located right in between amazon rainforest, so weather is very unpredictable. And the local flight company flies in a small dinghy plane, it cant fly in extreme rain or extreme winds.

No one will do you any harm, you may find their ways of living a bit strange, as they are not "Americanized" yet. But thats the fun and novel experience
The flight to Iquitos sounds scary. Flying over Amazon Rainforest and hoping that you would land safely (some exaggeration here).

Would like to know the strange ways of living of the people as you mentioned in the last post. I am sure that would follow in your subsequent posts.

Great to know that your trip came back on track and you did not have to abandon it.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 12:44   #17
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

I first saw Machu Picchu in a movie called MotorCycleDiaries and my first expression was Waaaaw!!! Now when i am seeing it thru your lense and my expression is yet agian Waaaaw!!!

Brilliant stuff, not many travelleres in this forum have done this place.
Awaiting more.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 17:21   #18
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

Abhijit, awesome narrattion till now. Bring it on. Peru looks lovely and like others mentioned, probably the first on this forum.

Puneri Style - Lai bhari
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Old 3rd March 2011, 17:52   #19
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

Wowee! I am glued to this thread. Machhu pichhu is indeed a dream destination! Bring on more please!
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Old 3rd March 2011, 18:44   #20
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

Very unique destination and I fully agree with your reasoning. I hope you cover it well and we get to see a different culture through your eyes.
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Old 4th March 2011, 07:59   #21
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Default Day 1 : JFK to Lima

So it all begins. Ultimately there were 2 of us going to Peru. I was flying from JFK and Samir was flying from San Francisco. We had coordinated our flight times so that we would reach Lima around the same time. Problem was, we would not be having cell phones. So there was a question about how to contact one another once we reach Lima airport, since we had read that Lima airport is quite huge and is a major hub in South America.

As an alternative arrangement, we already had contacted Paypurix Backpacker's Lodge in Lima, where we had booked our night's stay and asked them to provide separate pickup vans for both of us, then we would meet in Hotel.

So I reached JFK around 7am, flight was at 9.45am. I just had a backpack and a small bag. So check in procedure was very smooth. The flight was a one hop flight. JFK-San Jose (Costa Rica)-Lima. Samir's flight was SFO-Miami-Lima. But he had a longer layover in Lima, so before I boarded my first flight he was already in Miami. So we talked before my flight took off from JFK and decided to meet at a Starbuck's location in Lima airport.

Flight was quite uneventful, when the plane landed in Costa Rica, people clapped and started singing songs. Costa Rica airport was quite small, there was usual Starbucks, Subway etc plus a couple of good souvenir shops. I decided to spend some money there while coming back. There was a small viewing deck besides runway, so I went outside for a bit, and was greeted by the hot and humid blast of air! Then I realized I was in a tropical country. People were extremely friendly, but again no one could understand English.

Second leg of flight was also quite normal, TACA airline served awesome pasta and some Chilean wine for lunch. So after that I slept for pretty much the rest of the flight. Finally, after 10 hrs or so, the flight touched down in Lima.

I was a bit anxious after landing in Lima. It was already dark when the flight landed. Must be around 9pm or so. I didnt know anyone in Peru, neither could I speak their language. Luckily, immigration and customs was quite smooth. First thing greeted me when i came out of immigration was a sign "Cell phones for rent".

Cell phone (and internet) is very common in Peru. The cell phones which were available for rent were very cheap. The rate was like $10 per month basic charge. and $1 international outgoing per minute, $0.30 national outgoing. Incoming free. Not bad! I immediately rented a cellphone.

Second thing is currency exchange. USD is accepted at almost every shop and hotel all over Peru. But still we had decided to take some Peruvian Soles in exchange. The exchange rate then was 1 USD = 2.8 Soles. You can get exchange from 2 types of exchange counters, one is government approved, other is private. Of course govt approved ones charge some kind of extra tax on it, which makes them a bit more expensive. So we always ended up taking exchange from smaller private stalls.

When I finally came out of airport, I saw Dean from Paypurix with a placard for mine and Samir's name. That put a smile on my face It feels nice, when you know that someone is there to take care of you in a totally foreign country where you dont even know the language.

After checking Samir's flight schedule, we realized that, it was only half an hr before he would be at Lima. So we decided to spend some time in airport and pick Samir up.

Finally, Samir came out after half an hour or so, as we met near the exit of airport. One big mission accomplished. After loading our bags in van, we set off for the Paypurix lodge. And we were there within 5 minutes.

There was no mention of Hotel name anywhere on the building. It looked like a pretty dinghy place from outside with the name Paypurix mentioned on a small metal door with chalk. We were skeptical a bit, since the website showed nice hotel pictures.

but inside it was all fun !

Dean and his brother Eric run the Paypurix backpackers lodge. The whole USP of the hotel is its insanely close to Lima airport, and they provide pickup from airport 24x7. The whole crowd which comes to this hotel is of backpackers like us who are on a shoestring budget. So all the publicity, marketing for the hotel is done by word of mouth and on facebook and a couple other places online. Since all crowd coming to Hotel is young, there was a nice vibrant feel to the entire place. Some photos below:

Our room : Rate $30 a night.
Peru - Land of the Incas-img_8994.jpg

The game-cum-relaxing room and restaurant

Peru - Land of the Incas-img_9002.jpg

Peru - Land of the Incas-img_9003.jpg

This hotel had a very vibrant feel to it, may be because of all the flags and colors from all over the world !

Peru - Land of the Incas-img_9008.jpg

After getting freshened up a bit, we ordered a pizza for dinner.

It was already midnight, but the pool and foosball table was a bit too tempting. So after 2 hrs of multiple pool games and foosball games with Eric and Dean, we finally retired for the day!

A fun start to the trip overall !

The next morning we had to catch a 6am flight to Cusco

Last edited by abhijitaparadh : 4th March 2011 at 08:10.
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Old 4th March 2011, 08:04   #22
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

The lighting pattern in the hotel is cool. Is this the way in all hotels or was this something different in the place that you stayed?

Keep it coming.
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Old 4th March 2011, 08:54   #23
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

No, this was specfiic to this hotel. But in general Peru is colorful, mostly because all clothes in rural area are made out of Llama wool, and Llamas are available in almost all colors

More info about Llama Llama - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 4th March 2011, 10:44   #24
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

as you quoted earlier, this is your first attempt to write travelogue,
i must say that you are doing it very well.

Looking forward for more!!
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Old 4th March 2011, 11:36   #25
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

Abhijit, very good start. Eagerly waiting for next installment
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Old 4th March 2011, 12:33   #26
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

Great start Abhijit. Just a couple of days back, I was watching a documentary on Machu pichu on TV and today, I see your travelogue on Peru. Looks like you had a great tour. Waiting for more
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Old 4th March 2011, 13:39   #27
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

Machu Pichu is one of my most desirable places to visit. Hope of going there at least once before the curtain call.
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Old 4th March 2011, 14:51   #28
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

Nice start dude!! Looking fwd to the rest of the travelogue and the pics.

I've stayed in hostels in Europe while traveling on a shoe string budget. The vibe def is very vibrant. You get to meet people from far away. Cooking in the hostel kitchen. Drinking beer at the cheap (cost wise) Hostel pubs.

I remember we were cooking pasta in the kitchen of a hostel in Brussels, a German girl asked us if she could use some of the spices which we had. She took only salt & pepper and when I offered her some Chilli powder her violently shook her head in denial. It was a scene to watch.
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Old 4th March 2011, 14:53   #29
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This a wonderful start to what I expect to be a superb travelogue.

South America is one continent that I would love to explore.

Loved the excellent narration and the anecdotes add the necessary charm to it. Esp loved the iPhone translation one

Eagerly waiting for the next installment and yes thank you for taking us along with you
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Old 4th March 2011, 19:05   #30
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Default Re: Peru - Land of the Incas

Just echoing others responses..wonderful start of travelogue, simple & precise narration added with pictures keeping me glued here.

Just an FYI - After having a bitter experience with one hotel in Florida, I strictly started following 'Trip Advisor' (Reviews of Hotels, Flights and Vacation Rentals - TripAdvisor) reviews. This immensely helped a lot while traveling to new places with regards to hotels, restaurants, route queries etc.
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