General ride prep details
PASSPORT: Have you checked the expiration date? Look at it again. Does it have at less than 90 days from when your trip begins? They won't even let you board if so. Have you signed it? They won't let you do THAT at the airline counter!
Once each of you have your e-ticket, email me a copy.
LUGGAGE: Have you checked the baggage allowance for your international flight? Each airline is different these days! These are your limits for this trip:
(1) small backpack / camelback with a drinking bladder in which you will also carry any meds, snacks, and camera, maybe a fleece or your balaclava. This is what you will carry on your back when you ride.
(1) Gear bag. Everything you will have on your body while you ride should go in this bag.. NOTHING ELSE. This bag should fold up or flaten out to not take up any space in the support vehicle.
(1) Personal things bag. This should be a 24x12x12 inch (60x30x30cm) duffle bag. There should not be breakable items in this bag as it will go in the rack on top of the support vehicle and another bag may be placed on top of it. There will be a tarp over these bags. Only this ONE BAG will be allowed on the support vehicle.
You MAY leave a bag (or items) in Lima or Cuzco with things for your 2 nights in Lima or for your 2-day Machu Picchu adventure.
How many bags does your airline allow? Of what max weight? Go to the airline website and check it out (and print it out!). There is a difference between the allowance for national and international flights! If you are on the same airline from home all the way to Lima, then you get the international allowance even on the national flights. But the person at the counter may not know that! If you change airlines within the US, or have a day layover, you will only get the national allowance.)
How much should you pack? On these trips I have ALWAYS found that I had packed TOO MUCH! Weed it out. Then weed it out again. Then weed it out one more time! Every third day there will be an opportunity to get clothes washed.. for quite cheap. Riders, you will be in your riding gear ALL day, so a set of clothes that you only wear in the evenings to go out and get a meal will last you many, many days.
Remember 3 things: (1) The baggage of 10 people need to go in this little pickup, with room for other supplies, and room for a moto or two in the back in case of illness or a fall. (2) On the flights within Peru, you will pay extra for any weight total over 23 kilos (50 lbs) per person. It WILL be worth it if it is important stuff, but if not you will look foolish discarding stuff at the airport counter! (3) A few of our hotel rooms will be up a few floors up with NO elevator (and at altitudes up to 12,000 ft when you are tired at the end of the day!). Make your bags smallish, made to also go over your shoulder, or with wheels if possible.
GEAR: Have you got it all? If you wait 'til the last minute, it may come the wrong size, and there will not be time to exchange it. Have you worn your new boots to break them in? You don't have to go riding, just wear them around the house and the garden!
Have you tried that helmet on? With the balaclava under it? For an hour at least? Find out where the stress points are on your head, and take care of them by carving on the foam under the lining. See here for details on required safety equipment.
HEALTH: Be in the best shape possible for this trip. Diet if you will, but don't weaken yourself dieting. DO build up your strength and stamina. This is NOT a "ride in the park"!
The altitude will beat you up if you are not prepared for it. Check with your doctor if any of your meds will affect you differently at altitude. Don't run yourself ragged the days before the trip, then expect to "catch up" on this "vacation". It will catch up with you! The trip will be SO much more enjoyable, comfortable, and exhilarating if you are in shape!.....