Traveling… still…

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My travel addiction never seems to let up… But I suppose the fact that I give into it so frequently is not really guiding me on the path to moderation. As if I would ever want to go there.

It has been almost 3 years since I last updated my travel blog…. Meanwhile the food blog I share with Priscilla and Natalya, foodcomas.com, just celebrated its third anniversary last month! This isn’t to say I gave up traveling for cooking and eating… I still do it all to an excessive amount. It’s just I got really lazy with multi-blogging.

Even though I am 3 years and 10+ countries behind on travel posts, somehow I still hold onto the ridiculous hope that I will catch up eventuallly and fill in the blanks. I do normally backdate posts after transcribing my handwritten travel journals but that has been a fairly laborious task — and clearly ineffective in the last 3 years.

So as I reenter the travel blogosphere with just 6 more weeks of travel ahead of me, I am trying to blog as I go (pending wifi availability). Right now I got suckered into buying the Boingo mobile hotspot plan for $7.95/mo just to get wifi at Newark International Airport as I await my connection to Lima. My wallet hopes this works out.

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The destination for the month of June is South America. Ever since Natalya and I went to Argentina and Chile in 2011, I have been eager to get back to the continent. Peru was my top choice as I am enamored with the idea of frolicking around llamas (The Emperor’s New Groove is one of my favorite movies). Machu Picchu is also supposed to be kind of a big deal.

The game plan is to spend 2.5 weeks in Peru and 1.5 weeks in Brazil. In hindsight, Peru and Bolivia would have been the better logistical choice but I had already bought my flights and my Brazil visa. Even though the visa is valid for 5 years, it was a lot of money and effort to get it and I wanted to use it!

Another expensive visa I had to get was for Russia… This process is definitely the most painful of them all. In July, I plan to visit Natalya in Moscow where she is studying for the summer but more on that later.

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Natalya and Yusuf had been traveling for months prior and I borrowed much of their South America itinerary outlined on their blog. The goal is to visit Lima, Amazon, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca in Peru. Then onto Brazil for Iguazu Falls after which I will head up to Rio.

Quick logistics overview:

1. Flights: I am flying into Lima and out of Sao Paolo

2. Brazil visa: definitely need this before you go, there are no visas on arrival at the airport. The SF consulate will take at least 5 business days. Singapore is 1 business day… it’s the only option and expensive. You can apply for a visa when crossing the Argentina border at Iguazu Falls; it takes 1-2 days but sounds like a pain waiting in line on vacation.

3. Machu Picchu ticket: if you want to climb the exclusive Huaynapicchu on a specific date (only 400 people allowed per day), you will need to buy your ticket a few days in advance. The website is a bit finicky but this guide saved me- MP tickets guide. It still took me about 10 times to get it to work. I noticed switching the language to English messes up the reservation page so just keep it on Spanish. People have the most trouble with payment; use a card already registered with “verify with visa” or debit cards seem to work.

4. Yellow fever vaccination card: must get if you plan to travel to the Amazon. I pre-booked a jungle lodge and tour with G Adventures starting in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.

Anyway enough rambling… Let the adventure begin!!

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