One of the hardest things about dropping my son off at the airport in Omaha this morning is that he didn’t take his smartphone with him (he won’t be able to use it in his destination city: Lima). So of course right after we exchanged our last wave, just before he went through the x-ray machine, – me crying, him looking a little concerned – I thought of something I wanted to tell him. And I couldn’t. Soon enough he’ll be somewhere that he can email us from but not having the ability to text is tough. It’s not like we text that much – I try not to. But not having the option stinks. It makes me wonder how my parents coped when I flitted off to Europe and the Middle East for months on end, just roaming without much of an itinerary, and there was no email or texting option. Back in 1982, our only option – beside very expensive phone calls and not-very-timely postcards – was telegram and I do remember once sending a telegram to my dad for his birthday from Istanbul (when I almost forgot it was his birthday). I made the mistake of wishing him Happy Birthday in Turkish – which he of course didn’t understand so I may have unnecessarily alarmed him and my mom. This was only a few years after the movie “Midnight Express” came out…
Anyway, I hope to get an email from my son sometime tomorrow just telling me he’s arrived in Lima safely. Then I’ll be fine. I think.
Before I return my Peru travel guides to the library, time to jot down a few notes:
From Fodor’s: (other good book: Cusco and Machu Picchu from Moon Handbooks)
– ESSENTIAL PERU ITINERARY: Day 1: Lima; Day 2: cusco; Day 3: sacred Valley; Days 4 and 5: machu Picchu; Day 6: cusco to Lima (my aunt has recommended day 2 in Sacred valley (to get used to the altitude) then days 3-4 in Cusco and day 5 in Machu Picchu; with Amazon River extension: Day 6: cusco; Day 7-10 Iquitos and Amazon Cruise. (We’ll also spend more time in Lima because our son will be living there.)
– Lima where to stay: Barranco neighborhood vibe “bohemain, historic atmosphere, appeas to younger people; pros: neighborhood vibe; cons plenty of fbars, restaurants, lovely architecture (methinks this was a tongue-in-cheek “con”). Second Home Peru!!
– Cusco, where to stay: Ninos Hotel – i.e. children’s hotel. Not only sounds like a lovely place but proceeds donated to are of local disadvantaged children. Sounds too good to be true. “immensely popular” so must book way ahead.
– Sacred Valley – Pisac market! (tuesday, thursday, Sunday) and town of Ollantaytambo and salt pans at Salineras (below)
which remind me of the calcium-deposit waterfalls in Turkey’s Pamukkale (below).
– When to go: Sundays are free for locals so busier in Cusco then. “for near-ideal weather and manageable crowds, fall trip!”
– for altitude sickness: prescription drug acetazolamide/diamox; don’t drink alcohol or caffeine; mate de coca (team made from coca plant)drink lots of water. (bottled, even when brushing your teeth and order drinks with NO ICE – traveler’s diarrhea sounds like no fun. One folk remedy is chamomile (manaznilla) tea))
No big surprise that the NYTimes reports that its readers most want to visit: Istanbul. It’s one of the cities I’d most like to re-visit, having enjoyed my first and only trip there in 1982. Someday.
I didn’t plan to go to Istanbul when I was wandering around Europe but my plans changed when I arrived in Athens to visit an American friend living there. Looking through her photos to decide where to visit in Greece, I kept picking out photos that were in Turkey instead. So I took the Magic Bus from Athens to Greece with a newly acquired Australian friend named Lyndal and we not only went to Istanbul but roamed around the country for several weeks, exploring to the north with a ride along the Bosporus to the Black Sea; the other-worldly central Turkey area of Cappadocia, the “Turkish Riveria” to the south and the remarkable ruins at Ephesus on the western coast. Lots of adventures.