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Hello, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything due to starting my new post delivery job so I thought I’d update you on my life on this fine Saturday afternoon. (before the Australian Grand Prix qualifying starts.)
So basically before I became the greatest post woman alive, I was concentrating on making my body into a temple of fitness. In terms of getting physically prepared for Peru, the jury is out. Slightly nervous about what state I should be mentally never-mind physically. But basically that dream is to resemble that first scene in Terminator where Arnold gets transported back and is totally buff naked but a bad-ass at the same time? Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to happen either, mainly because I don’t want to be a naked man but the point being no-one is a tough as a terminator. Although he is a robot. Anyway stay with me, the point is I wanted to try resemble a relatively healthy person.
So far, the biggest change in my life has been giving up smoking. I thought this should be the first step since I’l be thousands of feet up a mountain side, not to mention in general the air is thin. By giving up smoking I hope will help with the whole “let’s do some exercise and not cough up half a lung” kind of thing. I worked out my last cigarette was January the 26th and it’s March so I’m doing alright. No craving so far apart from….ALL THE TIME! Especially when going to the pub, passing someone in the street, Steve from work offering me a fag on the round. Even the second degree smoke off those horrid youth who hang outside Tesco slide doors. Is it acceptable to take a drag from one someone has thrown on the floor? I think not.
All kidding apart, I’m actually not giving a shit. I don’t feel the need for one and I’ve substituted sport and exercise for smoking which seems a no brainier.
Exercise…what a word. People admit to liking it but we all know the best bit about exercising is when you get home and sit down. My first cycle ride I got to the end of the road and turned back. Thankfully I’ve got a lot better now and still biking everyday or every other day now since starting my new posty job! I never imagined being a post woman would be so physically demanding, my bruises on my legs make me look like a victim of domestic abuse. However I know it’s only temp so the long hours in the cold and the cuts and bruises will all be worth it! And for the pay, I can’t complain! Also it’s kept my fitness well above average, my round it about 4/5 hours walking around which has gotta be around 6 miles a day just posting mail so I should be okay before Peru.
So there it is…and update on my life the last month…exercise and delivering post. My next challenge before I leave is to start getting all my gear sorted out, the travel essentials like the zip off trousers…Chloe Telford height of fashion here we come.
Today I might book my travel insurance and get that out the way! Any suggestions for insurance would be well appreciated as there is thousands of companies. I kind of started looking then found myself on Amazon looking a books. Standard. So far I bought a good read for the flight out, the Silver Lining Playbook by Matthew Quick. I love a good book about mental illness.
I’ve included a pick of me on my bike at Bourne woods looking super happy! I must be laughing at my cycle trousers that make me look like the green lantern.
If I’m honest when I started looking at travelling to Peru, I had no idea where to start. My organising skills are so bad, if I tried to throw myself a birthday party, I wouldn’t even turn up. WHAT A NIGHT THAT WOULD BE! However I’ve done not so badly with planning this trip so far (after many pushes from friends and family).
When I first started looking at travelling to Peru, I had no idea how to go about it. So I did what we all do in tough time and surrendered to the wonderful world of Google. What I quickly found out was it wasn’t as easy as I had once thought. It’s impossible to decide what company to use, there are just so many to choice from.
I suppose what you really need to decide is whether you want to go it alone or use an adventure tour company. To start with, I decided that I would book everything separate, focusing on using local Peruvian companies. Just hop on a plane, book the first night hostel and then go party. Now this is the kind of thing I would normally do when travelling, especially in Europe. Generally it’s awesome. I normally meet loads of people, making friends who live all over the place, try different activities, different foods (cough, alcohol) and just mooch around for a bit.
But family members soon put me of this idea of just going out and winging it like I normally do. Mainly because South America is not like anywhere I’ve been and activities I’ve signed for make me shiver in my boots. Note to self to buy some boots. (socks for snugness) I’ve never been out of Europe and for me it seems a bit more intense. A bit scary.
In that case, my reasoning for choosing a tour company was reassurance. Don’t get me wrong planes, trains and auto-mobiles (what a film) all seem easily accessible but it’s the in-between bit I find a bit nerve-racking. The “how the fuck do I get to the pick-up point from here?” and “why inst there a timetable for the train that leaves once a month?” These types of questions not even Google could answer for me.
Not to mention the vast landscape that’s there. A town which appears near is in fact a 14 hour bus ride. Also the language, I don’t know what it’s like but a friend of a friend who has been, suggested learning some Spanish words and phrases. ~ and not that normal phrases you learn Clo like ~ “Can I have a pint of beer please.”
All of this I personally found a bit scary at the tender age of 22. (arrrr tender, I’m a person not a robot) Perhaps once I’ve been, it will be the opposite and I’ll be like.. fuck it, let’s go! But for me now and especially my panicked mother, it seems a good idea to choose a tour company. So I decided on STA Travel. Tbh my brother pushed me to book it quickly which is exactly right. Book it when you see it!
Back to STA Travel… they specialise in adventure tours and what not. A couple of friends recently have found them awesome for flights and travel stuff in general. Plus they are ABTA covered which is always a good thing. I booked my tour at the beginning of the year and got a sweet deal. I had a saving of around £400 quid which was awesome as my savings weren’t huge. (I would suggest you have around £2000 minimum saved for this kind of trip.)
Flights were sourced separate and I paid around £500-600. I’m booked with Air France who seem good in terms of stops. I only have one stop in Paris before heading straight to Lima. Although I guess Air France will have had enough of me once I get drunk on the flight out and shout inappropriate French phrases down the plane. (imagine bridesmaids aeroplane scene, that is me.)
Also a tip for anyone wanting to visit Machu Picchu is to book your permits early. Like 4 months early if you can. These things sell out quick whether you choose an local independent or a tour company. Even booking mine in early February, I have only just been confirmed on my trail through the skin of my teeth.
So my Andean tour is all booked and I’ll be out there 22 days give or take the days I’ve set aside so I can go explore, a day before and a couple days afterwards. The tour starts in Lima through the west coast till I end up in La Paz in Bolivia. Here’s a blurb I stole from STA about my tour. Gives you a taste the kind of tour I’m on…
Take the party to new heights in the rarefied air of the Andes. With other young travellers not afraid to try new things, you’ll journey from the enigmatic Nazca Lines to the lost city of Machu Picchu and onward to incredible La Paz. You’ll commune with the condors in Colca Canyon and feel like a local while crashing at a small village home stay at Lake Titicaca. Think of this as three weeks of climbing higher, going further and pushing boundaries on the roof of South America.
WOW. JUST WOW.. I hear you say.
All that’s left to book is how the hell I’m going to be get from La Paz back to Lima where my home flight is. It’s either a plane, various trains with buses connecting or one bus which takes around 27 hours. Bit tricky dicky but I’ll let you know what I decide…eventually.
In all, I don’t think there any wrong or right away of booking anything, you just have to decide and do it quick while you see the prices and dates. I’ve added a map of my tour so you can see some of my destinations along the way.
So this will be (is) my first post. For anyone that knows me, I’m very light-hearted so don’t expect any heart-felt Disney moments or any inspiring writing to come out of this. I don’t take myself seriously so you shouldn’t either….because most of the time I talk a load of shit anyway. I’m afraid I’m a very live for the moment kinda girl (very slap-dash as my mum would put it) with life in general and I’ll jump feet first into most things. Even if there’s a chance I may die. Hence most of the scar’s on my body.
This blog is simply a recording on the events leading up to my travels in wonderful South America and how I am preparing for my adventure. I set up this page so I can look back at how I went about things, kind of a journal for myself. Also I forget things a lot so it seemed a good idea. Plus one of my best mates JP told me I should give it a go and start a blog. Hopefully some of it might help anyone wanting to go or do the same sort of thing. It’s things I’m figuring out before I debark. Or maybe you’re read this and be like “what a knob, why has she done that, I would do this instead” which I suppose works. Once I’m back and with any luck haven’t been arrested or living my days out in a South America brothel, I shall let you know what I was right about and what I wasn’t so right about. (Which I’m guessing is everything)
So why Peru eyyy?
Well, when I was about 16, I saw a photo of Machu Picchu in a travel magazine round at my brother’s house. I was instantly taken back and was like HOLD UP where the fuck is that place? As I researched further I found out about the cool history (yeah history is cool mofafuckersss) behind this wonder of the world. It’s fascinating how cultures can survive in places like this with little basics like water and food around. As Jeff Goldblum would say “life finds a way.” Nice little Jurassic Park quote for you there.
What’s even more fascinating is that Machu Picchu was left for god knows how many years, I’m going to say thousands of years, and then rediscovered. Now I find abandoned buildings interesting but this takes it to the next level. I think it was uninhabited in the 15th century after the emperor had died but before the Spanish conquistadores started to invade. (Love the word, conquistador)
I’m debating whether to change my name to ~ Chloe the Conquistador, leader of the Llamas ~ it’s a working title you understand.
Anyway they conquered over the Inca Empire eventually but before and during the invasion horrible plagues had spread and that’s basically why the Inca population died out. Pretty much. Anyway back on track… Machu Picchu, abandoned and forgotten stayed a hidden treasure because the old Spaniards never found it. It was left until a dude called Hiram Bingham discovered it. Now this guy was a legend. Not only was he a professor at Yale University but also an archaeologist…..some say Indiana Jones was loosely based on him. Which if you ask my inner kid…IS PROPER FUCKING COOL! He was originally looking for another lost Inca site called Vilcabamba but he found Machu Picchu instead. I can’t even begin to imagine what he must have felt as he saw this unbelievable place in front of him.
So this is pretty much why I want to go..follow in his footsteps but also make my own (see what I did there?… deep.) Plus Peru and South America in general, seems a beautiful place. Full of interesting towns and cultures, brilliant history, not to mention exotic food, (I gonna eat myself a guinea pig) let’s not forget some amazing looking beaches near Lima. Can I get a cowabunga dude!?
So Peru it was to be, but where to start when booking my travels?
In my posts, I will try to cover aspects I’ve dealt with. Basically all the things I’m doing leading up to me leaving. Shit like that. So keep reading my posts mofaafuckerrrsss.
And as someone I know would say…see you in the stars.