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Traveler Story: 'I Live Tweeted My Trek Through Peru To Inspire Others'
These days, not only do we have to post pictures from our adventures, but we have to talk about them too. Whether it’s through a blog or social media, good or bad, we want to share our experiences with the world.
While traveling throughout South America for his birthday trip, Brian Ogilvie documented his experiences. Starting in Peru, he tweeted a simple tweet that turned into a lengthy thread. “Peru is truly a gem and probably one of my favorite places I’ve visited. They have modern cities, deserts, jungles and remote towns full of culture,” Brian said. “Everything was relatively cheap and they are extremely accommodating & friendly!
Using Twitter as his own personal blog, he gave us some details on what made his trip with his girlfriend Bianca so memorable as well as some little-known facts. He talked with TN while on his excursion about why he wanted to share his experiences. “Honestly, I just thought it was a fun way to document my trip,” he said. “I’m also inspired by outlets like Travel Noire.”
The self-proclaimed foodie he talked about Ceviche, a traditional seafood dish served there. He noticed that it was served differently at any establishment he’s visited. Then he warned us about Pisco Sour, a Peruvian alcoholic beverage that will sneak up on you if you aren’t careful. “Truly incredible. Just make sure you don’t drink in excess at altitude,” Ogilvie tweeted.
Since Peru is known for their mountainous wonders, Brian warned us to be wary of altitude. “Don’t do anything in excess at altitude,” he warned. “Don’t drink too much, try not to talk too fast, avoid moving if you don’t have to and hell, if you can stop yourself from thinking, that’s probably a good idea too.”
Upon arrival in Lima, the capital city of Peru, the 30-year-old admits that it wasn’t what he expected at first but things turned around once he ventured further away from the airport. “First impressions of Lima are mixed because the area surrounding the airport is very run down & dangerous. Avoid public transit,” he said. “But then there’s the history city centre, business district and coastal areas which are all beautiful.”
In Lima, the Cayman Island native booked accommodations at the BTH Hotel, a boutique style hotel fit for hip and trendy guests. He gave the hotel a three out of five rating but praised the location, right between the main plaza and the Miraflores district.
The most fascinating part of his story was his venture to Machu Picchu, a historical sanctuary built by the Inca Empire dated back to the mid-1400’s. The FIU alum gave readers a history lesson as he was able to snap a selfie, calling it a ‘utopia of where everyone worked together towards a common goal.’
“Everyone was given land to farm and there was wealth redistribution so that everyone had a good standard of living (we could learn a lot from them),” he said. Home to agriculture, religious rituals, industrial, and residential communities, Machu Picchu has remained untouched for centuries. The couple also visited the Salt Mines of Maras, a site that Oglivie said is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination. According to Brian, only the Maras people are allowed to work here due to this area historically belonging to them. “The men haul 50kg bags of salt from the bottom mines to the top at attitude, which must be extremely difficult considering just walking around at this altitude had everyone on our tour out of breath,” Brian taught us.
Ogilvie said that fact intrigued him the most because there hasn’t been another country in the world where a tribe of people is able to dictate terms like that to a government sector about employment in a specific area. But due to the large indigenous populace, the government must be delicate with how they treat indigenous tribes.
Brian wanted to see more, so he decided to explore the city of Cusco, which is an estimated 3,400 meters above sea level in the Peruvian Andes. It was there that he experimented with something a little stronger than Tylenol to deal with the altitude changes.
Its called Coca tea and it’s definitely not simply a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. The locals use it so they won’t get sick, but there is a catch. It’s actually a mild form of cocaine that will keep you up all night, so Brian warns not to take it in the afternoon.
From his thread, the only downfall to the trip was his flights. “Getting to Cusco is a pain because you can’t fly direct from many places but overnighting in Lima is also annoying because of the rides to and from the airport,” Brian tweeted. However, his travel woes reminded him of a country he’s been wanting to visit for a while: Columbia. Brian is making his last stop in Brazil, but his followers will be disappointed as his documenting has come to an end. “Blogging is actually more time consuming than I thought,” he laughs. “So I’m just keeping the thread to Peru. I tip my hat to you bloggers and writers.”