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Ron-NY

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A month from today I will be en route to Peru :rollhappy: I am started to get excited! I had some free time today and did some googling of the area that I will be in. Unfortunately, there are not too may sites that are in English but babblefish.com came in handy. It was in the high 80's there today with 79% humidity. I checked out some waterfalls and hot mineral springs that are in the area. I also looked into local foods and beverages, museums, ect. There are only about 2000 species of orchids known in the area :( :sob: :D including besseae and kovachii :clap:

Now to start gathering the things I need to bring with me. Ron jots down to buy an extra memory card for his camera and plenty of spare batteries
 

Heather

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I would think Glen would be able to help with the "where to go, what to do" stuff, no? Or are you just having fun? :)

I'm super envious. Anyone care to contribute to the Heather-wants-to-go-with-Ron fund?
 

Ron-NY

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I am having fun and will want to see a few things that the rest might not want to do. I love swimming in pools below waterfalls and a soak in the hot springs fall right up my alley too! I wish I had time to take a side trip to Machu Pichu.
 

gonewild

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Don't make a big list of things to take.
Don't worry about taking everything you might need. In fact do not take so much stuff that it bogs you down. You can get everything you need in the local markets. Toothpaste, shampoos, soaps are all good and safe to use. First aid supplies and medecines are all easy to get there as well. Antibiotics and nearly every prescription drug can be purchased cheaply over the counter. Bottle water is available almost everywhere. You can get your batteries there as well, but if you need special batteries for your camera take them with you. For sure take plenty of media cards.

Don't take a bunch of fancy equipment and gadgets. you won't have time to use them. And when you do you will spend all day demonstrating them to the locals. Don't bother with rain gear, just wear quick dry nylon clothes. You will want rubber boots. Buy them in the local market for about 20 soles a pair ($7). If your shoe size is over 11 better take a pair with you. You can have your clothes washed while there, so don't overpack.

You need a hat or cap to keep things from falling on your head (bugs). Take 100% deet repelent, jungle Juice from REI is by far the best. Make sure repellent on your hands is dry before you handle your camera. And don't use a lot of repellent unless there really is biting insects present. Often in the high jungle there are few or no mosquitos.

When you go on a hike carry plenty of water, at least 2 liters in your daypack. Don't forget to take a daypack or buy one when you are in Lima, they are cheap there.

This one is very important!!.... You can change US dollars anywhere in Peru. BUT the paper must be perfect. Any bill with even the slightest tear will not be accepted. This is true of the tiny little cracks where a bill is folded. It is best to get brand new bills from your bank before you go. Make sure if you leave a local a tip you give them a good bill or give them Soles. You can use your VISA card in ATM machines at most banks but not all accept MasterCard. Forget American Express. If you get money from an ATM only take it in dollars not soles. When you exchange dollars for soles beware of conterfeit bills, good idea to let a trusted local check each bill in the exchange.

Are you going to Moyabomba?
Do you speak Spanish?
Is someone meeting you on arrival in Lima?

You are going to have such a wonderful time as long as you pay attention to what you are doing and where you are.
 

Ron-NY

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Lance thanks for the info, I didn't know about the bill quality!
I have 2 containers of DEET but found that I never needed it before in the dry season. I have my innoculations already. I am not bringing too much camera equipt. I have never been a heavy packer to begin with. I do plan on bringing my daypack, first aide kit and waterfilter.
My Spanish is poor but I can get by. We have a Peruvian friend who is making the arrangements on the Peru end. We don't get into Lima until 10:40 at night, I don't know yet if we are being met. Moyobamba is our final destination.
 

gonewild

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Ron-NY said:
Lance thanks for the info, I didn't know about the bill quality!
I have 2 containers of DEET but found that I never needed it before in the dry season. I have my innoculations already. I am not bringing too much camera equipt. I have never been a heavy packer to begin with. I do plan on bringing my daypack, first aide kit and waterfilter.
My Spanish is poor but I can get by. We have a Peruvian friend who is making the arrangements on the Peru end. We don't get into Lima until 10:40 at night, I don't know yet if we are being met. Moyobamba is our final destination.
You can get by very well with poor Spanish.

I took a water filter to the jungle when we first went. Boy that was not the way to go. You will sweat out more fluids pumping the filter than comes out the end of the filter! Way better to just carry a couple liters in your day pack. If you are concerned about needing emergency water just carry a small amount of chlorox, a tablespoon in 5 gallons of water, wait 20 minutes and you have potable drink. Kind of like drinking a swimming pool but we did it for 5 months. After that we just gave up and drank from the local supply. Water in the high Peruvian Jungle is not at all contaminated like tropical water in other parts of the world. If you don't want to carry the weight while walking hire a local person for the day to carry your pack, they need the income.

Do you know how far you will walk in to see kovachii?
Are you going with a group or by yourself?

It would be highly recommended that you be sure to have someone meeting you at the airport on arrival. Especially clearing ADUANAS at midnight. You really don't want to get into a strange taxi and head out into Lima that time of night, at least I don't like it.
Do you have a room arranged for your first night or are you staying with friends? Don't plan on finding accommodations in the middle of the night.
If you need someone to meet you and transport you somewhere I can recommend a very good company with very cheap rates.

I wonder if it has started raining yet in Moyabomba?
 

Heather

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Is the "hike from hell" published online anywhere?
That would be a useful read for Lance, anyone interested, and well, I'm certain Ron has heard it since I heard it from his travelling companion!

Would be a good scan, though. : ) I need a scanner. The funny thing is that I drove around with one in my car for three months. When I moved, I left it behind. Duh. :rolleyes:
 

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Ron, I didn't notice a single biting insect when I did kovachi in December. The streams you cross are swimable - but sorry, no waterfalls. Just rapids.

The hike is about 3 hours each way, depending on your fitness. The last part is the worst.

Lance is absolutly right about the money. I had forgoten about that. I had a 20 that I couldn't get rid of for the longest time. I finally refused to pay for something unless they accepted the bill, take it or leave it. They wern't happy, but I got them to take it.

And about getting soles, I always got them from the bank machine. The reason is I didn't trust the money exchangers in the street. I had a police man give me counterfite money in Tumbes. That sucked, but I was only out $15 US.

Lance, did you ever get fake money from the bank machine?

Don't let the money thing scare you, Ron, but its better you know then find out the hard way.

Kyle
 

gonewild

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Kyle said:
Ron, I didn't notice a single biting insect when I did kovachi in December. The streams you cross are swimable - but sorry, no waterfalls. Just rapids.

The hike is about 3 hours each way, depending on your fitness. The last part is the worst.

Lance is absolutly right about the money. I had forgoten about that. I had a 20 that I couldn't get rid of for the longest time. I finally refused to pay for something unless they accepted the bill, take it or leave it. They wern't happy, but I got them to take it.

And about getting soles, I always got them from the bank machine. The reason is I didn't trust the money exchangers in the street. I had a police man give me counterfite money in Tumbes. That sucked, but I was only out $15 US.

Lance, did you ever get fake money from the bank machine?

Don't let the money thing scare you, Ron, but its better you know then find out the hard way.

Kyle
Kyle,

Is that 3 hours walk chewing coca or trying to catch up with your coca chewing guide?
Do you know how many KM it is? Was it a well traveled chakra trail or is it a tiny coca trail? Anyone living nearby?

Damaged USD in Peru are worth at best 70% to the guy you gave it to. Can make a good business out of going down and buying worn out dollars for 60% and bringing them home and selling for 100%! But then again the DEA would be knocking.

Kyle, how the heck did you get a policeman to give you money? They always wanted me to give them money! But what did you think the police did with confiscated funny money?

Actually the money changers in the street are more honest than the banks for exchanging money. You just need to go to one that is recommended to you or one the locals use. And still you need to check each bill. The only counterfeit money I ever got stuck with were 2 twenties that a restaurant passed me. i saw him make a switch of pockets but he was a money man at the airport. So I just gave the bills to a policeman and told him to arrest the criminal. The policeman said he would but it looks like he gave the money to you.:rollhappy:

OK here is the scoop on ATM machines. They count correctly and they give out real money. I will tell a little story.
BUT:mad:But:mad:The reason I said take USD and not soles is.... Over a two week period I withdrew money from a bank ATM machine. Now bear in mind I visited this machine almost daily for years before this and years after. One day the machine did not have USD so I took soles in the amount of S./1000 ($294). Over the next few weeks I drew out several thousand more soles. each time the machine gave me the correct count and a printed receipt clearly showing the money was in soles. All was fine until I got my bank statement from or USA bank. There seemed to be less money than I thought (what's new?). OK remember the machine gave me 1000 Peruvian soles but low and behold on my statement my bank paid out 1000 US dollars! This was the case on 7 separate withdrawls. I had the receipts and gave copies to our bank and they refunded my money. BUT 4 months later they took it back and said the Peruvian bank refused to refund the money. To make a long story short (too late) I lost $2400 (USD) over a two week period. After this I only took dollars and had no more problems.

If I had used a credit card Visa probably would have covered the error but I used a Visa debit card and Visa would not honor it. So my advice is just take dollars from the ATM. Or take cash with you from home.

And Kyle is right Ron don't let the money thing scare you. It really is not a problem now that you are aware.
 

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gonewild said:
Kyle,

Is that 3 hours walk chewing coca or trying to catch up with your coca chewing guide?
Do you know how many KM it is? Was it a well traveled chakra trail or is it a tiny coca trail? Anyone living nearby?
The trail wasn't a Coca Trail. There was a farm about an hour in. I knew the guide. He was in better shape then I was, so there was some catching up to do, but its a substantial hike. 3 hours each way.

Kyle
 

gonewild

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Heather said:
Is the "hike from hell" published online anywhere?
That would be a useful read for Lance, anyone interested, and well, I'm certain Ron has heard it since I heard it from his travelling companion!

Would be a good scan, though. : ) I need a scanner. The funny thing is that I drove around with one in my car for three months. When I moved, I left it behind. Duh. :rolleyes:
I would love to read it!
 

Kyle

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Yeah, its the same hike. I didn't find it that bad, but I think it was a lot drier when I did it. I'm also 30 years younger then Harold K.

Kyle
 

Ron-NY

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gonewild said:
You can get by very well with poor Spanish.

I took a water filter to the jungle when we first went. Boy that was not the way to go. You will sweat out more fluids pumping the filter than comes out the end of the filter! Way better to just carry a couple liters in your day pack. If you are concerned about needing emergency water just carry a small amount of chlorox, a tablespoon in 5 gallons of water, wait 20 minutes and you have potable drink. Kind of like drinking a swimming pool but we did it for 5 months. After that we just gave up and drank from the local supply. Water in the high Peruvian Jungle is not at all contaminated like tropical water in other parts of the world. If you don't want to carry the weight while walking hire a local person for the day to carry your pack, they need the income.

Do you know how far you will walk in to see kovachii?
Are you going with a group or by yourself?

It would be highly recommended that you be sure to have someone meeting you at the airport on arrival. Especially clearing ADUANAS at midnight. You really don't want to get into a strange taxi and head out into Lima that time of night, at least I don't like it.
Do you have a room arranged for your first night or are you staying with friends? Don't plan on finding accommodations in the middle of the night.
If you need someone to meet you and transport you somewhere I can recommend a very good company with very cheap rates.

I wonder if it has started raining yet in Moyabomba?
I will make sure arrangements are made for Lima for I do understand that most flights arrive during the 4 hours around my 10:30 arrival. Moyobamba is semidry until December but I check the daily forcast and there has been some rain this week.

I will be arriving with one companion the others arrive on a different flight.
 

gonewild

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You won't have any problem finding a taxi at any hour. Actually there are too many to choose from. I only caution people not to get into a vehicle in Lima, especially at night, with someone they do not know. Once out of the Lima metro area you can just about ride with anyone, anytime, anywhere. And in all fairness to the Lima airport their recent security improvements are very impressive and it is a rather tranquil arrival now.
 
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PHRAG

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gonewild said:
I only caution people not to get into a vehicle in Lima, especially at night, with someone they do not know.

This sounds really ominous. Until you remember it's not a smart idea to get into a vehicle, especially at night, with someone you do not know in the United States too. : )

Overall Lance, would you say it is any more dangerous to fly to, and travel around in Peru than it is to fly to and travel around in New York City?

I would think every place has it's moments of insecurity. I wouldn't walk some streets three miles from my apartment at night unless I had two or three other guys with me, and even then only if one of them spoke spanish.
 

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Peru is a wild place, and scared the hell out of me when I went. That said, I had a great time!

The taxis are all on the verge of falling apart at any second, and they drive them like NASCAR. The further from the airport terminal you walk, the cheaper your cab will be--even 100 ft can make a huge difference.

Most of Peru is covered in a layer of dirt, although the significance thereof is unclear.

Don't drink the water, unless it's bottled or otherwise purified.

The food is excellent, but don't eat anything that's not thoroughly cooked. Yes, this means no salads. The only exception is ceviche, which is "cooked" by soaking it in citrus. Also try the chicherones, and just about anything else. You really can't go wrong with Peruvian food. For alcohol, try the Pisco...the taste is hard to describe, but a pisco sour is a delicious experience.

If you have time, check out the Nasca lines. They have a little flight from Ica that you can take to see them all, takes about an hour, plus the time of getting to Ica. They're totally otherworldly!
 

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