On our second to last night in Arequipa we got TOT (tired of travelling). We did not feel like going anywhere. We did not want to pack and unpack and research hotels, sights and bus tickets. However, we did not want to stay in the family hotel with Abuela either.
So, I dived into the web to find us somewhere to go and something to do. Our plan for South America was to book inbound (Colombia) and outbound (Brazil) flights only. The 2 months in between would be filled in as we go. Our main planning tool is the internet but we also get information from other travellers and sometimes follow our nose. The process uses up about 7-12 hours a week.
The problem with the internet is that there is too much information and much of it is unreliable and biased. When there are too many options and not a lot of time to make a decision, I get TADD (travel attention deficit disorder). I build multiple alternative itineraries in my head, send out emails like crazy and weigh the pros and cons in real-time at hyper speed without filters. This usually drives Eliot crazy.
From Arequipa my TADD options were:
- Huaraz; Glaciers, high alpine peaks, glaciers but 48 hours of bus travel time added to trip;
- Hurtado; Wine country, desert- 24 hours of added use time and recent earthquake damage; or
- Rainforest in Iquitos; amazon like area, birds and other creatures 5 hours & $500 by plane. Accommodation options were: a) buy a hammock and hitch a ride a riverboat/barge; b) stay in Iquitos for a couple of nights and book day trips ($100/night look for a trip; c) Eco lodge with mixed trip advisor ratings and lots of last-minute availability ($70 night); d) four day luxury amazon cruise (US$4000/each).
My preferred option was the rainforest. However, we could only afford the cut-rate eco lodge or to wing it on a river boat. I thought it would be very Gabriel Garcia Marquez to travel on a riverboat. Eliot’s was not crazy about the rainforest idea (memories of chikungunia) but knew not to say no when I was in HADD mode. Besides, Eliot has read most of Gabriel Garcia Marquez books and stated that they all ended in tragedy.
To get me off the rainforest idea, Eliot used the distraction technique and recommended we eat first. On a full stomach I remembered that most exotic things are better in theory than in practice and I abandoned the rainforest idea. That is the nice thing about TADD, ideas can come and go in a flash.
Based on path of least resistance and highest potential benefit and the fact that we were checking out the next day, we opted for a trek to the Colca Canyon. After the canyon, we could return to Arequipa for a night and bus to Lima where spend 8 days in an Airbnb. That way Eliot could get what he wanted which was to settle down a bit, do some laundry and get to know a place.
The trip to the Colca Canyon turned out to be one of the best experiences we had in Peru.