Pre-Travel

6 months back…

We booked our flights on TACA airlines, which is cheaper than LAN Peru. We applied for visas in San Francisco. The process was a cakewalk and I got both our visas while I waited. Dilip didnt even have to be physically present. The Peruvian visa is rustic looking, with no fancy holograms. Just a seal with details manually filled in.

3 weeks back…

As we were planning a stay in the Amazonian Jungle, we had to get Yellow Fever vaccinations. We also decided to take anti-Malaria medication. We got them both at the Adult Immunization Travel Clinic (AITC) in San Francisco. That was my first experience with health care in the US. We thought it was too expensive and have decided to get every possible vaccination when we are in India next! :)

We also completed and confirmed our various hotel/hostel bookings, pick-ups etc. I also started my attempts at learning Spanish online. I managed to learn what ever I thought was necessary. In my opinion now, you can get by with only English in Peru. But to be better served, Spanish is a must.

We began our packing a few days before we left. We had read a lot on the net about how common robbing is in Peru. We got so paranoid that we didn’t carry any valuables with us, even leaving behind our wedding rings! (But as I later found out, it is not as bad as it is portrayed to be). For the same reasons, we didn’t carry any electronic equipment besides our camera and my very basic mobile phone. But for your info, the electric socket in Peru is compatible with the ones in US. So you don’t need any special adapters or transformers.

The website http://peruinfo.org/eng provided a lot of info I needed to know, pre-travel.

The trip in motion…

We set out on 9 January 2008. I had many pre-travel jitters. Dilip had a department retreat in Tahoe, scheduled to get over on Jan 9, in the evening. Our flight from SFO was at night. The problem was the storm raging in this area. I was worried he wouldn’t be able to make it back home on time. Of course, there was no dearth of things to worry about anyway- would the flights take off without cancellations or delays… will we fall sick on the trip… will we get robbed… etc… etc. But I guess if we were to heed to every jitter, we wouldn’t be leaving the comforts of our homes to travel. Thanks to God’s mercy, we didn’t encounter any major problems.

We were flying TACA for the first time and it was interesting to see the sea of South American faces, in contrast to the sea of Indian faces at the Singapore airlines check-in.

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