PERU UPDATE MP, Cusco, Inca Trail

Old Jan 26th, 2010, 10:57 AM
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PERU UPDATE MP, Cusco, Inca Trail

Below is information just obtained by http://www.lanewuspdate.com from an owner of a small hotel in Aguas Caliente where the tourists are currently trapped. Hope this helps inform.
Regular updates at: http://www.latinamericatraveler.com/...chu_Region.htm
LANEWSUPDATE.COM has just spoken with one of the owners of a hostel in Aguas Calientes. Francisco Seminario of Rupawasi Condor House Eco Lodge reported via telephone that there are helicopters currently evacuating tourists at this time. Yesterday 60 tourists were evacuated. He stated that one of his guests reported that additional U.S. helicopters are being flown in from Colombia and hopefully will begin operations this afternoon. The word is that they are currently in Cusco. However, these helicopters from Colombia carry only five passengers at a time.
Another reports is that individuals were attempting to leave Aguas Calientes by foot to get to the next town which is seven miles away. However, the military and police have stopped pedestrians from leaving due to the dangerousness of the situation. Also, there is a cash shortage is becoming an issue as the ATMS are out of money. Aguas Calientes has not received any new provisions in five days and the situation is becoming critical. Vendors have raised prices to take advantage of the situation.
One source indicated that it is expected it may take two to three days before the evacuation is completed.
http://www.lanewsupdate.com
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Old Jan 26th, 2010, 11:29 AM
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There is also reports that there was an avalache on the Inca Trail killing a guide and a tourist from Aregentina. A mother of a tourist stuck in Aguas Caliente reported this morning that the internet is spotty in case someone is trying to reach their family. I was about to put down my deposits for hotels/train in Agua Caliente and the Sacred Valley. I sent an email to the owners and will report if I hear anything.
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Old Jan 26th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Thank you for the posting. We are 57 days out from MP and a stay at the Rupawasi. I hope that everyone in Aguas Calientas and Cusco is safe and that the track is opened quickly.
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Old Jan 26th, 2010, 02:31 PM
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Yikes, for those of us who were fortunate enough to hike the Inca Trail, we understand how awful this must be for those poor people. I hope more help will arrive soon.
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Old Jan 27th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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I heard back from our hotel that we will be staying in this summer, the Kuychi Rumi. He said that they were okay because they are further up the Sacred Valley and that it was the businesses located on either side of the river. I also heard back from our Agua Calientes hotel, the Sumaq and she said they were fine. Just passing this info along in case it helps anyone.
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Old Jan 27th, 2010, 11:54 PM
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Is this sort of event only a danger around this time of year, or could it happen anytime?
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 04:38 AM
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www.weather2travel.com Peru/Cusco Climate guide

only in Jan/Feb usually
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:34 AM
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Any updates? I hope they are getting things back to normal.
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:53 AM
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Every so often, there may an occasional landslide that blocks the track, and that has happened at other times of the year, although it's rare. They can usually clear things away in a day. This goes way beyond that.
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 06:08 AM
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According to the reports I am seeing online, the evacuation is now complete from MP and Aquas Calientes. But it sounds like it is/was a total chaotic nightmare there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100130...20100130055418

http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs...vacuation.html
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 06:33 AM
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OMG, those pictures do say a lot. I am sad to learn things will not be OK for while. I feel badly for everyone involved, especially the Peruvian people who have lost so much.
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Hi All, Boston Harbor here, normally of the Asia board. knew if I came here I would find the information I needed. Fordorites are the best.

I have a trip booked for May 18-31 to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. I was thinking it was far enough out to not have to worry, but after looking at some of the photos of the train tracks and the flooding, OMG. The tracks and railbeds in some places are completely GONE. However, I'm assuming that given the economic crisis to the region that this will bring, the government will do everything in its power to get the trains running again.

I'm going to hold tight and see what happens in a few weeks. I have trip insurance, so I'll rebook if necessary. Fortunately, it appears the ruins themselves are not harmed. Those clever Incas and their drainage systems. How terribly said however, for the Peruvian people and those who have lost loved ones. We are tourists who can change our plans if necessary. It's an annoyance, but certainly not life changing.

BTW, PBS's NOVA is premiering a new program: "The Ghosts of Machu Picchu". It starts Tuesday Feb 2nd, 2010. I apologize if this has already been posted somewhere. I did a quick search and didn't see it. It looks really interesting. Check this link for description and local listings: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/machupicchu/
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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I'll keep an eye out for that show, it sounds fascinating. Thanks for the tip.
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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I have to interject something here. TRIP INSURANCE IS A GOOD THING. My son and I went to Peru last April and he was hospitalized for 5 days in Cuzco. We watched our plans for the rain forest stay evaporate. We were able to get to MP, although we had to cancel our guided hike on the Inca Trail to get there.

Trip insurance paid for everything, the hsopitalization, discharge meds, lost $$ for the Inca trail hike we had booked w/Llamapath, lost hotel reservation money, the huge amt. for the rain forest stay including the private guide we had hired, extra train fees, extra fees for rebooking flights, and even an extra night in Atlanta at an aiport Westin on the way home (due to storms, we could not get out of Atlanta). A total of just over $5000. I had to document it all, but it was not that complicated and I was paid within 3 months after the trip (mostly the delay was due to me taking my time filif the claim).

I will never travel internationally on a big money trip without trip insurance again. It really paid off. And it will pay off for BostonHarbor and others in this situataion w/Peru if need be.
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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I remember your trip report emd, that was a scary story you told!! I always buy travel insurance. I haven't had to use it yet <knock wood> but you never know....
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 03:28 PM
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Thanks for the info on the show...looks very interesting.
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 03:43 PM
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I too have reservations to go to Peru from May 20 to May 30. I bought trip insurance as I do for most of our trips, but not the kind where you can "cancel for any reason". I am wondering if the normal trip insurance would cover this situation. I was thinking it would not, and we would have to just go ahead with our trip to Peru, but go to places unaffected by the flooding.
As Boston Harbor said, it is a minor inconvenience for us travellers, but a major catastrophe for those living there. I hope the Peruvian government gives the locals the help they need to get the tourist economy back on its feet.
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 04:40 PM
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Hi shelleyk: Your China friends are going from March 8th to March 31st. We will arrive in Cusco on March 20th and tour Cusco, the Sacred Valley and MP until March 27th when we fly to Puerto Maldonado. We are set up with David Choque for the week and have heard from him and he and his famiy are fine. So at this point, we are going to wait and see. I am confident that David will rise to the occassion and we will have a great trip no matter what we see. We are not going to cancel because this portion of the trip is just 1/4 of the total trip. I hope they manage to get an alternate access to MP even if we have to hike in for a day or two. But if not, we will still have a great time. Hopefully things will be better for you in May. Barb and Margee
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 04:48 PM
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I am glad to hear David Choque and his family are ok. He was our guide and his wife, Isabel, stayed with me in the hospital and brought me food and drink while my son was there for 5 days.

shellyk, read your trip insurance policy and post back as to whether it covers natural disasters like this. I'd like to know...
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Old Jan 30th, 2010, 05:30 PM
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Hi Barb-Nice to hear from you again. I know you will have a great time whether you get to MP or not. One sign of a good traveller is the ability to roll with the punches and I think you and I will have to do just that in this situation. BTW, since our trip to China we went to South Africa with Smartours and had a fabulous time. I highly recommend it , if you have not already been there. Please post a trip report on your return from Peru so we know how the clean up and repairs are progressing.

emd3-I don't have time to read the policy tonight, but I will and I will post whether it covers natural disasters such as this.
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