Why Peru? I had six good days to spend, less than 5 days to plan and a damn good Nikon 7000 begging to be used. Call it a quirk but I had to be out of the US. Europe was too cold, Asia too far and Machu Picchu was begging to be seen. (Strange almost everyone known to someone you knew was heading south to Machu Picchu…..in December during Christmas). So I got online and booked the sweetest sounding deal…aha as I started the plan I noticed the airlines had other ideas…three hops each way and guaranteed to spend my vacation in their metal box. Cleverly they cut a day off my t ime by keeping me confined to an Airport. So it was all over again, this time no hitting the confirm button! Oh the voice of an Agent helped me quickly crash my budget even before starting. So why Peru because after the Airlines fleece you you need to get to a place that is affordable, where people care and where nature showers its blessings. Peru had it all and you do not even need a Visa to get there. That is if you forget about immigration. Plan a good 3 to 4 hours they hate to see you leave the facility.
Lima was not on my plans. It was first flight to Cusco in the morning. I booked TACA Air. Bright and early at the airport I was there ready to board.And waited and waited and waited. LAN Star mad several trips to Cusco, other Airlines did too. But Taca said no way….bad weather. Finally at 2 pm they said no flights…. Bad weather. Now that is about the time all Airlines stop. The beauty of this business model. I need to pay a penalty for rebooking the next day! Go figure… I rebooked on LAN and headed back to town. That evening I took LIMA sights by night – Surendra.smugmug.com Album Lima By Night.
Don’t get me wrong LIMA has its place, I just did not plan LIMA. That night I went to the Historic Center and the fountains. It was dark so I set up my Tripod for some cool nightshots. I had a travel guide I hired locally, my Spanish is not very good actually it’s as bad as my Russian or Swahili in short I don’t speak Spanish. I had just set my camera when out of nowhere appeared a stern lady. No shots. But there were cameras clicking all around. No shots on tripods- only CNN takes shots on tripods. And that was when my investment in the Travel guide paid off. Something transacted somewhere and I was allowed a cool 10 minutes to click on a tripod unharrased! And click I did on Christmas day. The fountains were cool at night and one of them stakes a claim to be the tallest fountain in the world (Guinness book of world record to boot!)
LAN Star was more faithful, prompt and professional. I was in the sky at scheduled time and off to CUSCO. I did get a good shot of the Andes