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inca trail & amazon rainforest (tpj) 17th Sept 11

Anonymous
Thu, 04/28/2011 - 17:37

Helloa to 15 others going on this fab trip

Thought it would be great to be  in touch before we go, as I'm sure like me you have lots of questions, thoughts and excitement about this trip.

Ema

Anonymous
Mon, 09/12/2011 - 17:20

Hi Emma and all you guys, just got back from the trip before you; you've no idea what an exciting time you're in for.  Just go with the flow and enjoy yourselves, some things change at short notice so be advised by your guide, there is a lot of hard work put in by these guides to make things special.  Carlos, our guide was top notch!

Tips: Take lots of antiseptic wipes, hand gel, rehydration sachets.  you may need Immodium, we shared everything depending on need.  Do have suncream factor 50!  You'll need it.  We only saw 2 hours of rain when we were on the boat in the Amazon.  Nobody used any wet weather gear, hope you're as lucky. Ditch the wind up head torch - they're hopeless, use a battery one.

Note: Trekking poles cannot be part of your carry on luggage, they must fit in your case.  You should have your Exodus bag folded up in your suitcase and use it for trips to the Amazon and Inca trail.  After the Amazon you will be able to get laundry done before you set out on the trail at Cuzco.  Learn to love the smell of DEET and make sure you use the mosquito nets provided.  For your last night on the trail you can upgrade from the campsite to a hotel in the town, all our group did and had an ace time - it's honestly a nobrainer.  You've done the hard work - reward your body.

I spoke to a lot of the people who worked on making our time so fabulous, the impression is Exodus is an excellent company that treats it's staff well.  Don't get hung up on tipping, if you can afford this trip you can afford to share it out with people who have so much less than you yet work so hard so you can enjoy yourself.  Haggle by all means with little girls trying to sell their wares, but eating the next day may depend on what she sells.  The Peruvian people are so wonderful, I have a great love for then since this trip.  Be prepared to share your joy with them.

Somethings I won't spoil for you but many seem to think the last leg to Lake Titicaca is a bridge too far - well it isn't.  You'll have a special time there - say no more!  And that 10 hour drive to Puno, I managed 250 photos along the way with many interesting stops, so don't be put off.

I hope you are as lucky as us, whilst cruising down the river we spotted a Jaguar at the river's edge!  Our guides were amazing in what they could spot.

Hope you all enjoy yourselves as much as we did.

Mike

Anonymous
Mon, 09/12/2011 - 19:06

We're 6pm Saturday too :o)

Anonymous
Mon, 09/12/2011 - 19:10

Hi Mike, thanks for getting back to us - sounds great! Hand gel is on my list still to get!

Anonymous
Mon, 09/12/2011 - 19:18

30 best pics now uploaded, just put tpj in the Exodus search

Mike x

Anonymous
Mon, 09/12/2011 - 22:06

Mike

Thank you so much for your update, I so can't wait to see your photos plus see it for real. Me defo going to buy some more wipes and rehydration stuff. I cant believe you saw a jaguar, lets hope it sticks around for us.

god knows how i will sleep come friday, too excited all ready.

 Ema :)

Anonymous
Tue, 09/13/2011 - 00:02

Mike, 

Thanks a lot for your comments.  I'm sure they increase our level of enthusiasm which is already pretty high!!

I've been studying details of our trip and when one takes in consideration that there are a lot of extras (meals not included, optional excursions, souvenirs etc..) one needs to bring a large sum of money.  I'm not used to carry large amounts of cash on me.

Alternative solutions:

1. Travellers cheques: not very good since they charge a pretty significant commissions when you cash them in Peru

2. Credit cards: Based on your experience are they widely accepted?

What would be your comments on cash management and your recommendations? 

Also How much dollars should we convert in Soles at the airport which is sufficient for the whole trip?  Do they prefer Soles? Do we have better prices if we pay in Soles? 

Many thanks for your good advice,

Sylvain

Anonymous
Tue, 09/13/2011 - 15:21

Sue and I spent about £550 each whilst in Peru.  Avoid Travellors cheques, it was a hassle for some of our group to change them.  Most shops will quote in sols but convert to dollars (and they usually give a fair exchange, about 2.7 sol to the dollar) the pound currently stands at about 4 sol to the pound but worse at the airport.  it is good to have sols, I converted about £150, the rest into dollars.  If you take a photo in the street of 'girl with llama' or 'old man carrying wood' they will expect a sol for posing, cheap at twice the price for an excellent photo and it puts food on their table.  I didn't see anyone using credit cards, most of your money is spent on tips or small purchases.  easier to divide the restaurant bills with dollars. The most used and lent out items I carried was a roll of black electrical tape and a penknife - one of your group must be mr or ms Fixit.  Cuzco is a great place to shop, wish we had more time there.  Make sure you have enough memory cards for your camera but anything can be bought in Cuzco.

Hope that helps, have a great time.

Mike

Anonymous
Tue, 09/13/2011 - 15:59

Mike,

 Once again many thanks!!!  Your advice surely helps and conforts me in my calculation and my idea was to convert 300 dollars in Soles which is about the same as you did!!

 I want to buy clothes made from Alpaga wool.  Is Cuzco the best place to buy that? How much does it cost? 

 Sylvain 

Anonymous
Tue, 09/13/2011 - 19:41

Many thanks and I will do like you upon my return, I will write about my experience for future travellers.  it really helps!!!

 Sylvain 

Anonymous
Fri, 09/16/2011 - 08:00

...see everyone tomorrow at some point!

Vicki :o)

Anonymous
Fri, 09/16/2011 - 09:18

This is it, all that we have trained, brought & planned for:)
Looking forward to meeting u all on sat evening:)
Bring it on
Ema xx

Anonymous
Fri, 09/16/2011 - 17:24

Hi all,

 I arrived at the hotel at 4 am Thursday morning.  I have slept all day Thursday!!!  I went to a good restaurant close to the hotel yesterday night and I took my first...and not the last!!! pisco sour!!  I then took la especialidad del pais... el cebiche de mariscos with a bottle of Peruvian white one.  it was simply delicious!!!  I then went for an evening walk on the beach. Today I m in great shape since I had my first good night of sleep.  The hotel is clean but the rooms are very small.  I like hard matress and I hope you like it too because...it is the hardest I never slept on!!!  Today I m planning to walk all day on the coast.  I ll be in great shape when you weill get here!!!  I really look forward to see you all here!!!  And now a little paragraph in spanish to put you in the atmosphere of this trip of a lifetime!!!

Vos escribo de Lima Peru.  Todo esta bien aqui!!!  Hey finalmente podado dormir la noche passada entonces estoy de buen forma esta manana.  Mi grupo va a llegar aqui solamente manana por la tarde asi voy a estar solo por el dia.  Plano de caminar todo el dia en Miraflores que esta un barrio de Lima al borde del mar.  Es fresca aqui porque somos al final del invierno.  En efecto, la primavera va a commensar la semana proxima.  La temperatura esta entre 14 y 18.  Necessito solamente un chaquete pero la populacion local esta con los abrigos del invierno como si fue 0 al fuera!!!!  Espero mucho la llegada de los miembros de mi gruppo!!
Hasta el sabado, see you on Saturday
Sylvain! 

 

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