Savannah Grace

Retreat to Lima

If we had stuck to my original 6 week Peru/Bolivia itinerary, we would be on a 10 hour bus ride from Cusco to Lake Titicaca (12,555ft), the world’s highest navigable lake. Instead of getting off the plane in Cusco from Puerto Maldonado (main town outside of Tambopata Rainforest), we stayed on and continued directly to Lima, Peru’s capital city, where we started our trip two weeks earlier.

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When we were on our 4N/5D rainforest trip, we both panicked every time we thought about returning to Cusco and being stranded there at 3,400m (11,200ft) surrounded by high altitude. Prompted by our continued bad health and Kees’ unceasing fear of altitude sickness, we decided to reconsider our schedule.

Except for a 4 day all-inclusive package sponsored by Madidi Jungle Ecolodge in Bolivia, I hadn’t booked or finalized any of our plans so would not be losing money or breaking promises…  It was a hard choice to make, but we both agreed health was most important. Things weren’t really going our way, but I knew it somehow had to be a Sihpromatum.


Kees is always great at calming me down and telling me there’s nothing to worry about. He assured me, “We can do whatever we want. We don’t have to be restricted by our plans. If we want we can just fly somewhere else. We can go to Brazil or the Caribbean or the South Pacific. It doesn’t matter. We are on holiday.”

With the Lonely Planet spread out on our bed, we played with dozens of options, always considering time, money and health in the equation.

With no time and little-to-no internet access in the rainforest, we finally gave up and decided to go back to square one and restart from Lima, where we could relax and make a plan without pressure. High altitude, we mutually agreed, was off limits for us.

As fun as it was, Miraflores, the posh district of Lima, seemed tame in comparison to the rainforest. I instantly missed everything about the rainforest, even the red and black ants crawling on and floating in our toilet bowl. 11990182_516022325226892_1711176987_oThere’s nothing like a surprise visit from a frog leaping out of your drawer. But oh, how blissfully great it was to be able to sleep in until 7am after jungle bootcamp.

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We sat in Lima having the most wonderful holiday. Every single day we slept in, walked to the mall overlooking the ocean which twinkled with lights along the coast, indulged in the most delicious meals of our lives and went to the movie theatre every single night. Lima was a great place to, it wasn’t until we’d watched every English movie that we decided it was time to move on.

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Part of me felt guilty to basically be doing nothing adventurous but we enjoyed our time together so much.

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After a lot of consideration, and accepting that everywhere inland was high altitude in Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, it came down two options, travel south directly on the coast of Peru and Chile and see how far we could get OR go east, into the South Pacific Ocean. Before we’d finalized our initial plans for South America, I had thrown out the option of Easter Island and Galapagos Islands, but Kees was always underwhelmed by my efforts to convince him they were great travel destinations. All he said was “Oh yeah, a bunch of statues on Easter Island and what’s so interesting about crabs and birds on Galapagos?”

A month in those two places would be too much so I suggested, since I’d spent so much time preparing our itinerary for Peru, to do my original itinerary in reverse up until Arequipa to see the condor birds in the Colca Canyon. From there we would once again fly back to Lima and head south to Chile’s capital city, Santiago, then directly west to Easter Island. Afterwards we would do the long haul from Santiago up to Lima, then fly into Ecuador mainland then once again west into the South Pacific Ocean to Galapagos Islands. Wow! Neither of us could believe it was true until we booked our flights. Or should I say, Mom booked our flights. I forgot to mention that both Mom and Ammon were extremely helpful and present in this decision, helping us with each and every step.

Below is a map of our original itinerary VS our updated itinerary.

Original Itinerary Revised Itinerary

This change in plans meant we would be missing out on Lake Titicaca’s Puno, Death Road biking near La Paz and the 4 day jungle trip in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia. But like I said, perhaps it was all a Sihpromatum.

Once we felt good about our new itinerary, that kindle of adventurous spirits sparked, and were on the road again, this time headed to Ica.

Savannah Grace

PS! If you are in the neighbourhood, BREE and our #1 FAN Melanee, from Black Bond Book Store, will be at the West Coast Women‘s show in the Tradex building in Abbotsford selling “I Grew My Boobs in China” and “Backpacks and Bra Straps”. There are lots of fun things to buy at the show, so take your girl friends this weekend, October 16-18th! The girls will be giving away signed photos, which is a special treat we’ve never done before!

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