I hate to use my blog to do this, but I can’t let faulty business practices go unreported.
Peru Viajes o Globo (UPDATE: former link now a spam site) swindled me and my friend out of money and provided a drunk guide.
Victor, pictured at right, sold my friend Brett and me a four-day tour with a guide along the Inca trail from Cusco to Machupicchu on January 5th, 2008. He informed us we would be returning to Cusco around 7 pm on the 8th and agreed to book an overnight bus for us from Cusco to Arequipa the night we returned and charged us an additional 75 soles (or $25). Our guide, who got drunk and left us to our own devices to ascend Machupicchu by ourselves, booked the wrong train for us to return to Cusco on the 8th, causing us to miss our overnight bus to Arequipa. We approached Victor the next day, but he refused to refund us our bus tickets.
That’s how it went down. Not a huge deal, and I’m not immensely bitter, but a faulty deal nonetheless.
One thing that amazed on my recent trip to Peru was the pervasiveness of Skype and Facebook in hostels and internet cafes, even in some of the most remote destinations. A year ago when I backpacked in Argentina, a quick glance around a “locutorio” would reveal computers dominated by travelers on gMail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and the like. E-mail allowed those on the road the ability to stay in touch with friends and family with incredible ease.
Within a year and a half, however, not only did I find it incredibly easy to drop my parents a quick note, I could even call them. In Aguas Calientes, the tiny village outside Machu Picchu in the remote Andes, every internet cafe I went to offered Skype with headphones.
Sorry for the month-long hiatus, but I am finally back from Peru.
(And in that spirit, check me out overlooking Machu Picchu!)
But now that I am back, I am a graduate and will be adjusting to working at Southern Living down in Birmingham, Alabama. The next few days entail finding an apartment and all that fun stuff. Wish me luck!