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"Rio: mahogany grandmothers with their leopard-print suits and bangle-stacked wrists gossip in

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros Rio de Janeiro – the Marvelous City – the first time I came it was 1987, and people warned me to “be careful, it’s the most dangerous city in the world”. The second time I came, I spent a week in a youth hostel and celebrated New Year’s on the beach with newly-made friends from all over the world. Like mine, their friends and family were quite worried about their plans. Then, when Bella was 16 months old, some folks said “you’re crazy to take a baby to Rio”. The next time we came, it was with family friends, 7 of us, and we heard the message “it’s scary, are you sure you want to go?” This time… “Well, Rio’s better now, but it still isn’t safe”. But here’s our

Peru-Chile-Argentina Summary

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros PERU Peru: land of misty mountains and pan pipes, ancient ruins, gorgeous textiles and world-class food. Our first stop, it was one of our best-planned itineraries. We spent just a few days in Lima getting acclimatized to being on the road. Despite a minor challenge with checking in to our rental apartment, and the kids being sick for the first few days, we enjoyed eating Peruvian specialties at neighborhood restaurants, a bike tour of the city, and a visit to the chocolate museum. We then went on to the Sacred Valley. Wanting to meet other travelers, we’d decided to stay at a backpacker’s lodge in the town of Ollantaytambo. It was perfect! There was coca-leaf

"Pretty amazing how much cheaper medical care is in South America."

By Gretchen Richter de Medeiros Below are tables that detail our projected costs, actual costs, and the differences between the two. We saved a ton on transportation and lodging by opting out of renting a house in the Sacred Valley and instead staying in a travelers’ lodge in Ollantaytambo. There were two interesting ruins right in town, we could walk to the train for Machupicchu, and we spent some of our savings on a guide to drive us to Chinchero and Pisac. The five of us agree that our trip just wouldn’t have been as informative and wonderful without our guide, Isaias. We’d hire him again in a heartbeat! (Note, Isaias’s fee is included in Special Activities, which is why we went a little

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© 2014 by Rodrigo DeMedeiros

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