Ecuador and Peru Travel Report # 8:
Stretching One Vacation Trip Into Many Stories
Today I’ve been writing some notes to family and friends about our recent trip to Ecuador and Peru and rather than give you the questions I had planned for the series of “Exploring Who You Are” questions, I’ve decided to use the notes for this entry.
As we talked with others on our cruises and elsewhere, I was impressed with how many people have traveled extensively. We ourselves have been fortunate to see a number of countries, though far less than my brother and some friends, and likely less than my children by the time their lives are over. But if you’re afraid you can’t keep up with neighbors and relatives who are always flitting about the world, you can expand each visit into many.
Let me explain with statements we can honestly say about Lima, a point of arrivals and departures to other parts of the country that offers an opportunity to tell people about our four visits in various ways that might give the impression we’ve been there frequently and know it well..
“The first time we visited Lima, we only spent three hours at the hotel.” . . . or . . . “One time we only spent a few hours in Lima before leaving again.” . . . or . . . “In 2009 on one of our trips to Lima we only got three hours sleep before we had to leave again.”
Explanation: On Dec. 26 we arrived from Quito about 11:00 pm and were driven through the streets a half hour away to the Marriott, where we slept for three hours and got picked up at 3:00 am for a ride back to the airport and a flight the next morning to Cuzco.
“The second time we were in Lima we arrived by plane and left by bus.” . . . or . . . “One time we left Lima by bus instead of by plane as we had done on an earlier trip.” . . . or . . . “We once flew into Lima from Juliaca.”
Explanation: After traveling from Cuzco to Machu Picchu and back by train, and a bus ride down to Lake Titicaca, on Dec. 31 we flew back to Lima, arriving 6:35 in the evening and left the next morning by bus south along the Panamerican Highway to see the Nazca Lines. [Incidentally, this was the most disappointing three hours of the vacation since we were on a double-decker bus on the bottom level one seat behind the luggage storage, which meant we couldn’t see out front and most people around us kept their curtains closed or partly closed.]
“We spent the evening of our fiftieth anniversary in Lima.” . . . or . . . “When we came to Lima from Paracas, the weather was wonderfully comfortable, and we enjoyed the evening air.” . . . or . . . “A guide from General Tours once took us through Lima in a van and pointed out the plaza and other points of interest.”
Explanation: After a wonderful plane ride over the Nazca Lines on January 1 and a night in Paracas, on our fiftieth anniversary the next day, January 2, we visited a bird sanctuary with more birds in one place than we’ve ever seen and had a dune buggy ride, something I’ve never done before. Then we got on the bus back to Lima and found the curtains on the lower level were all closed except for ours. We pleaded with the bus attendant to find us something upstairs. She came back after a short time to say there were two remaining seats on the top level – at the very front, which made up for the trip south!
This time we arrived in Lima about 7:00 pm and our General Tours guide provided an excellent explanation of the areas through which we drove on the way to our hotel, ending with a visit to the new below-ground mall across from the Marriott and its gold museum. Even though we could have had a celebratory late dinner in the hotel, we ate a protein bar and fell into bed because we had to leave early the next morning for Iquitos, where we would begin the Amazon part of our trip.
“The fourth time we were in Lima we arrived in the afternoon.” . . . or . . . “The day we were to leave Lima in 2010 we had to spend a long time at the airport.” . . . or . . . The last time we were in Lima we met a Peruvian who provided us with a lot of information about his country.”
Explanation: On January 6 we flew to Lima from Iquitos after our tour of the upper Amazon. Although we didn’t get out of the airport and, after going through customs and getting our passports stamped, were not officially in Peru, we were in the Lima airport for six hours before our flight to LA. So we bought some cards and passed the hours comfortably.
Notice the opportunities such an itinerary gives us. I’ve given you twelve ways to mention visiting Lima. All are correct, though they certainly might be misinterpreted as representing more than the four times we were in the city. And of course, we could say similar things about Quito and how every time we visit Quito we stay at the Swissotel Quito [it’s also the only time] and how almost every time we go to Lima we stay at the JW Marriott. You get the picture.
Notice that with this kind of reporting one could become a politician. So many ways to distort the truth.
How can you expand your trips into more than you’ve actually done?