Epic Journey. Peru.Bolivia.Chile Preface

I’ve had a tab saved on my browser for 8 years now.  Its called “epic journey”, and its where I save all the links for information pertaining to this route I’ve been dreaming of doing for almost a decade.  Tomorrow I take off from New York City, for non-stop service to Lima to finally start the journey.  Originally it was fly into Lima, do Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, La Paz Bolivia, on through to Paraguay, and eventually fly home from Rio.  Epic indeed.  I’ve finally got the time to take a hack, but I’ve lopped off the Paraguay/Brazil portion due to the World Cup hoopla.  I have the usual pre-trip jitters that are unavoidable when leaving home and country for a month, but the underlying excitement for what this trek has in store is hard to hold back.  

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***

Well this just in as I’m writing.  Disturbing news.  You may have heard or will hear when you wake up that an M8.0 earthquake just struck off the coast of Chile.  And the tsunami warnings go up to Ecuador, which includes Lima, Peru.  

Shit.  

So far (as I sit with my ear glued to BBC News) it sounds like not very much damage has been done, and that although there are high waves; nothing cataclysmic. 

The area has been highly seismic for the past handful of months (I wonder if its connected to the recent LA quake), and I’ve been following for the past week or so.  More as a human interested in the Earth than thinking my vacation might be affected.  But here I am.  Hopefully this was “the big one” the earlier tremors has led up to, and hopefully the reports of minimal damage stay just so.  I suppose all I can do is go to sleep and hope when I wake up it hasn’t gotten worse.  

I don’t leave until tomorrow afternoon, but this journey is already proving epic.  

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***

Woke up, and grabbed my phone to check the news.  Seems like any danger of tsunami has passed Lima.  So although I’m uber aware of all the seismic activity in the Chilean area over the past hundred years, there isn’t any reason to abort.  My journeys won’t take me very close to the epicenter, but I’m thinking at least it’ll be a topic of conversation along the way.

***

Well after the weeks of anxiety and planning, one grabs their bag, walks downstairs and hails a cab.  The door slams shut, you say “JFK please, United.” and SWOOSH!  The air sucks in and the vacuum of adventure engulfs you.  It’s happening.  ITS HAPPENING!!!!  The floor drops out on any worry of everyday life.  The bags are packed, your ducks are in a row (you hope), the tickets are booked and now all one needs to do to march into the unknown is put one foot in front of the other.  The feeling I describe is not frightening, its the first ecstatic moment of the freedom that comes with travel.  Easily forgotten after the journey, but these first visceral reactions are striking, and glad I finally jot this down.  This is the first time in a while I’m venturing solo into the world with everything I need on my back.  I couldn’t be more happy.  It’s exhilarating, and liberating, and one of the most pure moments in the modern life.  The voyage begins.  Up, up and away.  Sink or swim.  Do it live.  

 

As my cab zips and honks down Houston street, I get giddy thinking I’ll be eating dinner in Lima, Peru tonight.

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