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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Tue
4
Jan '11

Egypt, Morocco, Galapagos Islands….

But Wait, Equator and/or Peru Is Only 60,000 FF Miles in Business/First.

Really, I need more billable hours… hanging out in front of the computer searching for cheap vacations is expensive, or could be.

The Colonels and I need to do the African continent (Egypt/Morocco) to complete our seven continents. Thanks Babs for pointing me in some directions for those trips…. Ugly, ugly, ugly pricing…. Three grand plus air. Ouch. Without billing hours I can’t afford that this year.

The Galapagos… yikes, even more. First thought – 15-20 people (extended family) going to the Galapagos – a full boat booked, but still need get there, and then the $100 park fee and the $10 transit fee.

Which lead me to investigate where you fly into, which most likely would be Quito, Equator – which I can book in First/Business Class on American Airlines via the Alaska Airlines site using miles… 60,000 which could even be into Quito, out of Lima, Peru. For merely a $25.00 booking fee (plus taxes). Peru… Cusco, and I fly in/out of there, maybe Machu Picchu would be cheap… it doesn’t help either the family or the Colonels, but it might make a nice May or Birthday trip.

Here would be an interesting thing to do…

Hiram Bingham Service (PeruRail)

The Hiram Bingham train is the most luxurious way to journey between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The carriages are painted a distinctive blue and gold while interiors are luxurious, warm and inviting with elegant decoration in the style of the 1920’s Pullman trains. As passengers step on board they are encompassed in a world of polished wood, gleaming cutlery and glittering glass. The train consists of two Dining Cars, an Observation Bar Car and a Kitchen Car, and can carry up to 84 passengers. Enjoying such a luxurious journey as you pass through small villages that can’t afford adequate schools or healthcare may make some people feel uncomfortable, and rightly so.  Ecotourism at its worst.

A round-trip ticket on the Hiram Bingham service costs US$588 and includes pre-dinner cocktails, live entertainment, brunch served on outward journey and 4-course dinner with wine on return, all bus transfers, a guided tour of Machu Picchu, entrance tickets to Machu Picchu and afternoon tea at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Hiram Bingham Train: Poroy (Cusco) to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu)

Departure

Arrival

 Price (one way)

09:10

13:09

US$ 294

 
Hiram Bingham Train: Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Poroy (Cusco)

Departure

Arrival

Price (one way)

18:07

21:59

US$ 294

And then there is a trip to Lake Titicaca for another $400 round-trip in first class cabins (10 hours each way, requires overnight stay)

For more information on the Peru rail system: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PeruRail

Wow, I wonder if I can do a triangle thing into Cusco and out of Puno (Lake Titicaca), or should I just take the train/ferry to La Paz and fly out of there.

These are the things I was thinking about over my pepper shrimp over a bed of romaine topped off with three tacos from the wagon down the road.

Not going to lose weight like that.

[234.0]

P.S. Good thing Shakti was here to distract me with remodeling questions and cocktails.

1 Comment »

One Response to “Egypt, Morocco, Galapagos Islands….

But Wait, Equator and/or Peru Is Only 60,000 FF Miles in Business/First.”

  1. Jon Souder Says:

    I think the train line to Macchu Picchu was washed out in last year’s floods. Flight into Quito is interesting because the valley is high (maybe 9,000′) with surrounging mountains and the runway is short and right in the middle of town! New airport is about 10 years behind schedule.