Travelling with my Mother…and Another.

Part 1 – the disasters before it began.
When my mum decided she wanted to travel with me for three weeks in South America, I knew what to do on the trip to avoid us killing each other – we had taken trips before. But when one of her work colleagues decided she wanted to come along, it changed the dynamics completely.

I had briefly remembered meeting Sally once before during Mum’s work confrence in Melbourne. Mum knew how much I disliked food going to waste (and how is never say no to free food) so she put food in her handbag leftover from lunch. Sally promptly told me I would be sick if I ate the few hour old chicken wrap.

Mum had mentioned to Sally two things regarding the trip: she didn’t want to plan in advance and she didn’t want to go on an organised tour.
Sally then proceeded to do research on organised tours costing well over AUS$4000 for three weeks in Peru.

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One of the pages from the $4000 tour detailing the daily itinerary in Lima. I have highlighted the hard work the tour guide does to charge people $4000 for their tour.

After Mum convinced her that it would be cheaper to just pay me to come along, Sally started typing itineraries.

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Just one of the 20 itineraries Sally sent Mum.

From: sal@optusnet.com.au
To: mum@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Itinerary
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2015 17:50:51 Hmmmm! Not sure what happened to the email! Computers! So the last email might have got wiped! So I have attached the itinerary I altered for your dates. I have decided that I’d like to spend some time looking at more places so I am going to travel to Cusco on the 8th and look at seeing Sacred Valley/Amazon – I’m not exactly sure yet. I could then meet you in Cusco on 13th. Are you planning on staying in Cusco that night? Would you like me to book you in to the Millhouse where I’ll be or do you want to just book when you get there? I’ve attached the itinerary I’ll use and will keep you updated with what I’ll be doing. I’ll buy a local SIM when we get over there probably. What are you going to do? Are we going back to Cusco to fly back to Lima? I could not work out where the hotel we booked in Lima fits in to the districts so I’ll leave it till we decide where we want to stay. Sarah (Sally’s travel agent daughter) said that as it is one of their recommended hotels it would be in a safe area and may even be in one of those districts. I’ve run out of time to look at those links you sent. I’ll change the booking for Santiago to 3 nights and cancel the booking at Millhouse. I’ll stay there when I’m in Cusco I think. Do you want to book the first night in Puno or do it when we get there? I’ve left the booking for Machu Pichu as is. There are hot springs at Aguas Calientes so don’t forget your swimmers*. Talk later.

(*Sally forgot her swimmers.)

Mum and I agreed that we would let Sally book two things that were outlined clearly in an email:
– x3 tickets to Machu Picchu, one for the museum option and two for the mountain option for the 15/5/15
– The train from Puno to Cuzco for the 13/5/15.

Sally booked the following:
– x3 tickets to Machu Picchu, all for the museum option**, for the 15/5/15
– A train from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo the following day
– A silver service class train from Cuzco to Machu Picchu for the 14/4/15…A MONTH EARLIER THAN ALL THE OTHER TICKETS.

Therefore after all this was booked, the silver service train left a few days later. We couldn’t get the $300 refund.

** The Peruvian government wouldn’t let us change our tickets or buy new ones so Mum and I didn’t get to climb the mountain. After wanting to go to the museum so badly Sally didn’t end up going because she didn’t want to walk.

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