After graduation in May 2002, I spent two and a half months travelling in Peru and Bolivia with Cara. While she was there to do her Master’s research, my main goal was to have fun without killing myself or getting amoebic dysentery.
While there, I managed to find internet connectivity often enough to email home regular field reports, which I am placing on the web for posterity’s sake.
- 5/17 — Greetings!
For one reason or another, I’ve gotten ahold of your email address and decided that you want to hear from me this summer. Perhaps you’re an old high school buddy or college drinking pal. Maybe you’re a climbing partner or a member of my family. Or maybe you’re just plain lucky.
- 5/20 — Update From the Highlands
Well, we made it safe and sound to Peru. Spent the first few days in Lima. Some parts of the city are horrendously dirty, others are quite lovely. Miraflores is the clean upscale section, and it’s where Cara and I stayed for two nights.
- 5/23 — More Info Than You Ever Wanted to Know
It seems to me that one will never talk about defecation so often or as frankly as when one is traveling in a foreign country that is not the United States.
- 5/31 — Far Trek
The word sounds so romantic, evoking images of intrepid backcountry explorers wandering through remote pristine virgin wildernesses taking in beautiful vistas and generally having a good time.
- 6/5 — Report From the Field
So it came to pass that I had to carry all my own gear and food for four days up an annoyingly steep trail for a lot longer than I wanted to have to hike, avoiding burro poop (both fresh and dried) all the while.
- 6/6 — Punter’s Sweet
God loves drunks and fools, and although I’m feeling dizzy, the sensation is from high altitude and not Pisco Sours. Thus, I must fall into the second category.
- 6/13 — Mid-trip Doldrums
I left Huaraz a week ago for the tourist town of Cuzco, and my life has been nothing but mundane since. Everywhere you go, someone is trying to sell you something, whether it be a postcard, a shoeshine, a crappy watercolor, a meal, or something else.
- 6/19 — Randomosity and Ramblings
Some random notes (because I’m not feeling focused enough to write a cohesive narrative type thing)
- 6/22 — Karma’s Gonna Git You, Sucka
I engaged the Peruvian delicacy of cuy. Cuy is how the Peruvians write guinea pig. Just in case you weren’t paying attention, I am indeed talking about GUINEA PIGS.
- 6/29 — Two Fer One
For our next exciting adventure, we decided to embark on a mountain biking trip down the WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS ROAD — dum da daaaah!
- 7/6 — Journeys and Destinations
A philosopher once wrote “It’s not the destination that matters, it the journey.” Bullshit. He obviously never spent much time traveling South America by bus.
- 7/12 — Home on the Range
Horses are big and they run fast. They also have minds of their own, and so when they get going, really, your wishes are of no particular consequence.
- 7/17 — Summer Reading List
I’ve done a LOT of reading thus far and have read a bunch of books. Just for the hell of it, here’s what I’ve read (roughly in chronological order).
- 7/21 — The House of the Incan Sun
What a perfectly idyllic place. It’s a two hour boat ride from Copacabana, and there are no vehicles of any sort on the island.
- 7/23 — The Real World
following the advice of a friendly local, I went out and bribed a member of the Peruvian National Police (the country’s way underpaid finest) to come and “help” us “encourage” the company to see our point of view a bit better.
- 7/27 — Signing Off
I got cocky on the plane and opted for ice in my soda. Arrival in New York saw my sprinting to the bathroom as Peru got its final revenge on me. Oh how I long for the days when diarrhea is the exception and not the norm.