In early February, I am taking my first trip to South America. It's the only continent I haven't visited (yes, I know there are 7 continents, but food and people are primary motivations when I travel, and penguins alone aren't enough of a draw, so I'm not giving Antarctica it's full due). Some place had to be last. Europe was first in 1986 (and a few times since), Africa in 1998/9 and 2006, Australia in 2007 and Asia in 2009. No slight to all the fantastic people in SA, the opportunity had not presented itself before now. And in the frenetic travel competition that I have with my mom and sister (I was the third to get to Asia), I will be the first to get a South American stamp in my passport.
I'm excited to see one of the main attractions in Peru, which is Machu Picchu. Although we are going in the rainy season and there is a chance that there will be weather and my pictures will not look like the postcards....not the first time. Case in point, Mt. Haleakala in Maui. We were up at the top of the mountain for the famous sunrise. The sun never rose (but the bike ride was fantastic).
The vagaries of airfare never cease to amaze me. Our tickets from Denver to Lima were very reasonable (only about $100 more than if I wanted the direct flight from Denver to the Quad City International Airport in Moline, IL). The airfare for the one and a half hour flight from Lima to Cusco? About $100 less than the flight to Lima. Crazy.
Last week we had family movie night at church watching the movie UP. One of the funniest lines to me?
Little Ellie: "When I get big, I'm going where he's going. South America. It's like America, but south."