I have always been interested in the pre-Columbian civilisations, and have long wanted to visit Peru. Gay is also keen to go. We were gearing up for this a number of years ago, but were deterred by the Sendero Luminoso - aka The Shining Path - a Marxist guerilla movement which was very active then, which seemed to have much the same aims as the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia (and we all know what happened there!) and which seemed to take delight in attacking tourists. We did not fancy becoming a statistic in a Killing Field. So Peru went on the back burner.
A few months ago my daughter Nicola said "So when are you going to go to Peru?" Always being one with a quick answer (not always the right policy) I immediately answered, "Next year" - next year being 2009. I vaguely remember that November is the ideal time to go, climatically.
But during my walk today, I had my usual torrent of thoughts, many about Vic's Big Walk - I really must take to carrying a dictaphone because by the time I arrived home I could only remember 11 points and I am sure there were more - and one of these was about Peru, in relation to VBW.
Gay is, as always, being very supportive to me about the whole thing. As stated before, she ideally would like to do the complete walk with me, but agrees that we need to go down the route of the battlebus. Also that unless we want to take a staff (people, not a stick) with us, she will be the chauffeur. So, she is taking a back seat (not while driving, I hope) so that I can fulfill my objective.
How ideal, I thought, if the Peru trip (which would itself probably be a walking holiday, much of it at high altitude in the Andes) were to come after VBW, as a reward and a thank you from me to Gay for her loving and unselfish support in this venture, as in so many other things.
I put this to her, she agrees, so Peru is pencilled in for November 2010, and I shall now get on to our friend Janet Santamaria Fox to give her advance notice of this.
Janet is the manager of the Manchester office of Journey Latin America, which is an award-winning company specialising in - guess what? We met her when she arranged our visit to that place where one can see vast quantities of evidence of many of the other pre-Columbian civilisations - Mexico, in 1999.
If you have a yen to visit any of these places, you should contact Janet. Her e-mail address is:
The website for the company is of course:
So - it is now France to UK then on to Peru!