The Allure of South America

Jai in Rio
Happy New Year!
1 Jan 2016
The Cleaned Slate
1 Feb 2016

In October of 2015, in a bit of a state that the end of year loomed and I haven’t made an international trip yet, I decided I was going to go somewhere, anywhere. Opening up my emails, the first place to grab my attention on one of the many travel newsletter I now receive was Machu Picchu.

I sent off an email to the tour company Spirit Tours about their Machu Picchu packages, popped Peru as the destination in the SkyScanner app and set about Googling the place and potential travel tips.

Peru, Brazil, and Argentina
Machu Picchu, built in the 15th century and later abandoned during the Spanish invasion, is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru. The ruins sit almost 2,000m above sea level with the Machu Picchu mountain rising a further 1,000 metres above that. It has been on the bucket lists of many a traveler for decades. I did not know what that it existed more than a couple of years ago. It had certainly crossed my path in conversation, pop culture, movies – I mean, I watched Indiana Jones 4 which climaxed in Machu Picchu, without having the place enter my consciousness. To be fair, much of that movie has been fondly forgotten. Yet, it wasn’t until recent years that I’d paid attention to people discussing trips to Machu Picchu and gained an interest. The allure of the spiritual and powerful Incas, the draw of South America which has been on my backpacking list for almost two decades. It was time and Peru was as good a destination as any.

Decision made, I looked at flights, and in the process booked a trip to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. I had 4 weeks off in December and January from my production but it was most cost-effective to book the trip over three weeks. So the plan evolved into a 3 week holiday in Brazil and Peru. Over the next few months, and the eventual disappearance of Spirit Tours (I still have no idea what happened; they clearly didn’t want me to book with them for unknown reasons), and thanks to the brilliant Couchsurfing concept, I had formalised my trip to 2 weeks in Brazil and 1 in Peru, the holiday culminating in the hike to Machu Picchu.

It was a fantastic trip, laden with adventure and much socialising. I had so much fun and thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. I’ve decided to split my recounting of this journey into a few different posts, which I’ll be adding in the next few days.

Rio de Janeiro, Foz do Iguaçu, and Machu Picchu – a travel plan

A night in São Paulo

Nothing like a Rio Sunrise

Party in Paraty

The Glorious Fall of Iguaçu

Peruvian Perils

Climbing Machu Picchu