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Peru, I love You

It’s Brandon and Tyler from South America again! Sorry for the delay (and the horrible title) but we have been busy exploring the land of the Incas: Peru. While our amazing buses around the country surprisingly offered wifi along with first-class accommodation, it was a little difficult to blog from the bus.

Shortly after our redeye flight from New York JFK to Lima, Brandon and I were already headed to the ancient Inca capital at Cusco in the heart of the Andes mountain range after a fascinating three-hour tour of the new capital. While Lima supposedly has some great cuisine and nightlife, the top tourist destinations in Peru exist far from the coastal city. Luckily, the amazing Peruvian bus line Cruz del Sur offered incredibly comfortable travel throughout the country so on our way we decided to stop at the incredible UNESCO site, the Nazca Lines.

The Nazca Lines are located along the beautiful and wildlife-filled Peruvian coast on the long trip from Lima to Cusco and offer a perfect stop for a layover on the way to the Inca heartland. Although the bus times to and from Nazca are a bit inconvenient for speedy travel, the Nazca Lines are a must see in Peru. The lines are ancient geoglyphs created by the society that lived in the area around the time of Christ. In the sandy desert, which also houses the tallest sand dune in the world, the ancient culture designed breathtaking gravel formations of different shapes only visible from the sky.

To see the world heritage site, Brandon and I needed to pony up around $60 to board a small seven-seat plane that would fly right over the mysterious shapes. After we called our mothers to say our last goodbyes, we boarded the rickety aircraft that would literally turn us on our sides to get the best views of the massive lines depicted in the shape of hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, and even something that resembled a waving alien or astronaut. The sheer scale and complexity of the lines for an ancient civilization seem to raise as many historical questions as they astonish.

While scholars debate their purpose to this day, the lines have fascinated people since their discovery in the early 20th century, even the lady sitting in front of us who upon taking off promptly started vomiting for the 30 minute flight.

On your travels through Peru, surf the dunes, see the lines, and try some of their unique and tasty Peruvian ceviche at the must-see stop of Nazca!

¡Hola desde el Cono Sur!

¡Hola a todos! I’m Brandon and I’m writing from Buenos Aires. My friend Tyler and I have been backpacking through the Southern Cone (specifically, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, with a short trip into Uruguay still left to do) since June 8. It has been an exhilarating experience (to the say the least), and we look forward to sharing some of our (crazy) stories here.

Tyler and I met freshman year at Harvard when we were randomly assigned to the same dorm along with three others. We have been friends since then, rushing the same fraternity (SAE) and even traveling to several destinations together (Vermont, Michigan, NYC, DC, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, India, Amsterdam, Cancun, and Belize). As may already be apparent, we have quite a bit of travel experience!

Although Tyler has lived in the suburbs of Detroit for most of his life, he’s had plenty of opportunities to travel. He’s been to most U.S. states, and besides the destinations mentioned above, he’s also visited Canada, several islands in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, and Russia, where he boarded the Trans-Siberian railroad going all the way from Moscow to Lake Baikal. Tyler majored in Social Studies with a citation in French and is also an avid lover of sports, foreign cultures, and good food. He has also been trying to pick up some Spanish while down here.

As for me, my family and I have moved around quite a bit. Dallas, L.A., Mexico City, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Beirut have all been homes to me, and now my family is living in Bangkok. Thanks to my family’s work as well as opportunities provided in college, I have traveled to most U.S. states, Canada, the Bahamas, Panama, Brazil, Eastern and Western Europe, Turkey, Egypt, Southern Africa, China, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. I majored in Government while also earning a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies. I’m also a native Spanish speaker and speak fluent French, advanced Arabic and Portuguese, and conversational Italian.

Although we sometimes clash due to our different personalities, one thing unites us in the end: our passion for crazy, wild, ridiculous, awesome travel experiences. We just returned from Santiago, Chile earlier today after a 22-hour journey across the snow-capped, jagged Andes, so we are exhausted, but we will post again in a few days with details on the past 5 weeks. ¡Hasta luego!