I am very nervous about our upcoming trip to Peru, y’all.
I’m not nervous about packing. For once. Although, my new laissez faire “take what you wore yesterday and throw it in a bag (*plus clean underwear)” attitude won’t work for this trip. For one thing, I wore a bulky turtleneck, wool pants and a heavy coat yesterday. That won’t really work for a destination with temperatures in the 60s-80s.
I’m actually following this girl’s advice on packing for a safari, since our trip to Peru is sorta similar in a lot of ways. (Seriously, she has packing advice for just about every conceivable destination/time of year. Very helpful site)
This trip is heavy on the moving around and outdoor adventure front, so no need for heels or going-out clothes.
I’m also not scared I’m going to be eaten by sharks, like I was when we were planning our trip to Australia. (Turned out that reef sharks are kinda small and wimpy and are in no way prepared to take a bite out of my flailing body. Also: we’re not diving in Peru. Sooooo…there’s that.)
No, I have lots of other things stressing me out.
For one thing, it’s our first trip to South America together and well, South America is a whole other ball of crazy coca tea (I’ll explain that reference a bit further down).
Peru in particular appears to be a bit, well, how shall I put this…..flexible in terms of criminal justice and acceptance of bribes. To be fair, it does appear that Peru is cleaning up its act a bit in terms of corruption. According to this lady in Peru who I’m sure has no reason whatsoever to make up such an assertion.
So, I’m worried that we’ll get ripped off repeatedly by cab drivers (related: cabs don’t have meters). Or worse – I really do not want to be shot in the stomach. That would suck.
I’m, of course, scared I’m going to be mugged. This apparently happens a lot. Even in nice neighborhoods in Lima.
I’m worried that we should not be driving on the roads, particularly not out into the desert. I’m worried that my pigeon Spanish won’t be good enough to keep us from being thrown into a Peruvian jail for some minor infraction like not having our side mirror at a 45 degree angle.
I’m very worried about altitude sickness when we go to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. And that to combat said altitude sickness, I’ll have to drink the local cure, which is a tea make out of cocaine leaves. That’s right. Cocaine leaves. Something I don’t need in my life: failing a random drug test at work and trying to explain THAT.
I’m worried that I’ll accidentally eat cuy—guinea pig, a local delicacy. (I’m tipping a 40oz for my guinea pig homies and childhood pets, Peanut and Walnut, right now.)
Also: This British travel website? NOT HELPING. Some snippets:
Spiritual cleansing – Shamans and other individuals offer ‘spiritual cleansing’ to tourists, especially in the Amazon area and Cusco. This service is not regulated and there have been serious illness and deaths following such ceremonies.
Sand buggies – There have been deaths and injuries involving recreational sand buggies, particularly in the sand dunes around Ica and Lake Huacachina. These buggies are unregulated and the drivers and agencies take no responsibility for the welfare of passengers.
Ugh. This is what I do now that I’m in my 40s. I stress and worry. I fret and overanalyze about all the things that could possibly go wrong.
I know—at least in my head—that none of these things are likely to happen to us. That we’re seasoned travellers. That we’ll be safe and smart. I know that we’ve arranged a car service to take us to and from the airports. We know not to get into just some random old hoopty cab and we’ll always negotiate a price first.
I know we won’t carry valuables (I’m not even bringing jewelry, or my phone, or any electronics) and we will stay vigilant in public places.
I know XFE will not let me become a drug mule, and that he’s already gotten a prescription for non-cocaine-laced altitude sickness pills for us.
I know that I will not take part in any spiritual cleansings or drive sand buggies in a reckless manner or eat furry little childhood pets.
I also know damn well that I should never look on the Internet for things to worry about because you will always, always find them.