Published on March 11th, 20152
O.k. so the clock continues to tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. Another birthday will soon be upon me, and I’ve always tried my derdest to do something a bit special on my birthday each year. At this age, I have even more motivation to celebrate another year on the Planet as… arguably every extra year (heck, every extra DAY) is something to celebrate, no?
And since I’ve been traveling and living abroad, it’s become even more important to treat myself to something special to mark such milestones and holidays, for I don’t have family and close friends around to share them with.
This birthday (the day after mañana) will be my 4th birthday abroad, and past “treats” since flying the U.S. of A. coop have included…
2011: Celebrating my final birthday in my native land in NYC with my good chum from D.C. before hopping on that one-way flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.
2012: Flying to Phu Quoc Island off the coast of Vietnam (following my graduation from my CELTA course)
2013: Visiting the annual Elephant Festival in Laos (and riding an elephant bareback at the Elephant Conservation Center).
2014: Indulging in a full day of decadence at the Piedra de Agua Spa in my new home here in Cuenca, Ecuador.
As my present EFL classes and tutorials prevent me from skipping off to some distant corner of the globe precisely ON March 13th this year, I shall have to be content with but dining out with friends, along with…
Now you didn’t think I’d actually pass up an excuse to buy an air ticket to a new corner of the Planet, did you?
Yup, though I shan’t be able to zoom above the clouds to some exotic new land as my birthday dawns come Friday, nonetheless I’m presently giddy with the fun of researching a little adventure to mark this year’s “feliz cumpleaños”.
Ah yes, the delicious quandary – where to go? Where in the world to GO???
I first considered hopping on a plane to Cuba (high on my “sooner-rather-later” bucket list), but suffice the fares are considerably more spendy to Cuba than to say…
Why a little known (yeah right!) corner of the Planet called “Machu Pichu” of course! I mean, after the Galapagos Islands (yes, yes, pics and details from my January trip coming soon, I promise!), Machu Pichu is arguably THE most iconic destination in all of South America. And here I sit, pecking at a laptop just an easy-peasy plane ride away in neighboring Peru.
So that’s the Plan. Skip off to Peru the moment my present teach tutorials end (mid-May). That gives me 8 weeks to scheme and plan just how long to roam, and what all to see. That legendary pile of rocks (rhymes with Achoo-Achoo!) of course, but what else is there amid the nation of Peru that might tickle my itchy travel toes?
For starters, my neighbor (Sara, a fellow EFL teach) casually mentioned the term “Nasca” as in Nasca Lines. Woa! Who knew? Such a kewl phenomena and I am a sucker when it comes to ancient civilizations and their remaining trappings. Especially something as amazing, as mere 4″ – 11″ deep carvings that span nearly a hundred kilometers – yet are STILL VISIBLY INTACT MORE THAN A THOUSAND YEARS LATER!
Turns out though, the Nasca’s aren’t near Cusco (the jumping off city for exploring Machu Pichu), but rather – a goodly trek (400 km) from Lima, the capital of Peru. So… a bit more Googling and I unearthed a very kewl “Peru Hop” bus (much like the hop-on, hop-off buses I used in both Australia and South Africa) that runs between Lima and Cusco (or vice versa) and – you can hop off at the Nasca Lines for as long as like! The route I’m looking at also goes to Lake Titicaca, so will likely add that (at 12,420 ft. yikes!) The entire “Peru Full South” hop-on/hop-off bus route (including stops in Puno, Arequipa, Nazca, Huacachina and Paracas) takes a minimum of 7 days.
Granted, I could just fly to Lima for a night or two, make a side trip to the Nasca Lines, and then fly to Cusco for about the same price as the bus pass ($189), but – what fun is that? Clearly the ability to see Peru overland rather from via an hour’s flight at 30,000 feet – now THAT’S what I call an adventure!
It’s all still up in the air of course, and I’ve plenty of time to poke around and see what other options I might fancy (already, I’m thinking a day trip to see the Maras Salt Pans near Cusco).
But the Plan is in Place: My 2015 birthday treat will be the legendary site of Machu Pichu – and whatever other Peruvian goodies I can find.
Erm… in keeping with my penchant for playing fast & loose with my itinerary planning…
I never made it to Machu Picchu for my birthday in 2015, but instead switched an iconic hillock in Peru – for an iconic island in Chile (Easter Island).
And furthermore… I’m now once again poised to (finally!) head to Peru come October 2017 – stay tuned!
Got any tips? Ideas on what I should add to my little adventure in Peru? Do please tell all in the comments below.