Back on the Horse

April 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’M FINALLY FEELING BETTER.

I’m no longer sleeping 12+ hours a day, instead I’m back to my normal 8 hours a night.

I’ve renewed my job search and have applied to multiple full-time, part-time, and temp jobs. Money is money, am I right?

I’ve got an appointment with a new psychiatrist in Birmingham when I get back from Florida next week.

I’ve got some ideas on how to mend bridges with the art museum in Birmingham and certain steps have already been taken in the right direction.

My health insurance kicked in on the first so now I can take better care of myself and afford to do so.

Oh, and today I planned a two week trip to Peru in September for me, my parents, and my cousin. Why Peru? Two words: MACHU PICCHU. I want to see it before they totally restrict tourists from visiting, plus the entire trip will cost about the same as a single plane ticket to Europe so it’s a more financially-feasible trip at this point in my life. I’ve begun brushing up on my espanol which is actually not too terrible considering I haven’t studied it since high school. The trip will cost less than $2000 and we could do it as cheap as $1200 if we wanted (and we could go as early as May in that case!).

We would drive over to ATL, drop off the girls with my aunt and uncle (hah hah… maybe. or pay my bestie to watch them for the two weeks), then fly to Lima, Peru where we will hang out for a couple days adjusting to the altitude and taking in some of the city’s sights before taking a short flight (but expensive at $345 for a mere 1.20 hr trip) or a FUN and EXCITING (and much cheaper) combination of buses down to Cusco. We could do a direct bus trip from point A to point B, but I think if we’re going to go bus, we gotta go the crazy-multi-city-zig-zag way.

We’ll see some sights (mainly the museums in my case) in Cusco for a couple days before beginning the four day trek to Machu Picchu. We have two options: we can do a self-guided tour for free, which means we can go whenever we feel like it but have to bring our full camping gear, or we can do a guided tour in September (their earliest availability) for $420/person. They provide camping gear, food/drinks, and people to carry it, plus they provide transportation to and from Machu Picchu from Cusco, but that seems like a lot of dollars for a mere camping trip. I ordered a self-guided tour book for the ancient site, so we’ll see if that provides more info on whether we should fork out the cash for the guided tour and go later in the year.

After our Machu Picchu trek, we’ll take a day of rest before a full-day private tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Then we’ll take an overnight bus to the Colca Canyon, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Once off the bus, we’ll hike down into the canyon and spend the night at one of the hostels on the canyon floor. Unlike the Grand Canyon, the Colca Canyon floor is livable, lush and green. Depending on how much time we want to spend here, there are a number of different trails we could take to get down there and back up. There are a lot of things to see, from Inca mummies and tombs to native villages and Lake Murcurca, so we’ll probably need to discuss in a bit more detail which specific hike we want to do and what we need to pack to prepare for it (one of them requires camping equipment because it takes you to remote areas of the canyon, but if we’re bringing camping equipment anyway for a self-guided tour of Machu Picchu, we might as well do the longer, more remote canyon route!).

Last on our list of sights to see is Manu National Park. I’m going to have to call a travel agency or something to figure out how the hell we’re supposed to get there and what it’s going to cost. It’s only accessible by boat and you can only go with a guided tour group (apparently pumas and jaguars will eat you so they don’t even let you go off on marked trails alone). We would likely stay overnight and then head back to Lima (likely do plane-plane rather than boat-bus-bus-bus-bus due to fatigue at the end of the trip) to go home to the States.

I’ve definitely got to get some new hiking shoes (my boots are sturdy enough for easy hiking around Birmingham but they’re really old and starting to fall apart) and a more solid pair of sandals (good thing REI has great sales!). If we choose to do a more urban, non-camping style trip, I need to get a new pack, but if we go the camping route, my backpacking pack should do just fine (though I’m irritated I’ll have to check it at the airport). Besides some vaccinations, extra memory cards for my camera, and a solid stock of toilet paper, I’m pretty much ready to go as far as travel supplies goes.

Affordable trip. Going with family. Not too much time away from my girls/job/indoor toilet. Sounds like a pretty damn good compromise to satisfy my wanderlust without costing an arm, a leg, and everything in the kitchen sink (is that the phrase?).

In the meantime, I’ll focus on getting a job or doing whatever I have to (temping, volunteer, internships) to get my foot in the door enough to secure a full-time, permanent, paid position by the end of the year.

Money is money. In the meantime, I’m dreaming of the Incas.

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