Mai Perso - Travel adventures

Say what?

January 2, 2012
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Pachacuti had two sons. His hair apparent was called Tupac. Yes like the rapper Tupac . Who knew…

Pachacuti the Machu Picchu Mayan Emperor

January 2, 2012
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“I was born as a lily in the garden, and like the lily I grew, as my age advanced / I became old and had to die, and so I withered and died.”
This poem was attributed to Pachacuti, the Mayan emperor who has built Machu Picchu

Adventure foreplay

December 22, 2011
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The excitement is building up with me and the team, towards the upcoming trip to the Andes.

It’s the first time for me, traveling almost exclusively at high altitude, ranging between 12k and 17k ft. There will be little adjustment time. We will get on the bikes the day after we land and be on our way. The only buffer is that we can decide how rough we want to do the first few days, as there are alternative paved or hard surface dirt roads we can take.

We have also set ourselves the goal of using as much as possible local facilities and avoiding Western chains. This in order to soak the local culture and experience the adventure through the eyes of the local folks. We tend to naturally do it when we travel just the two of us or with the kids, but be less conscious of it when traveling with a larger group.

We are now 28 days from meeting with the group in Lima Peru. The local support crew will be there a couple of days early, to pick up the bikes from the Lima BMW dealer, where they will be serviced and prepared for our trip.

The group is a known entity. We have traveled together before and know each other’s quirkiness and greatness. That surely takes some of the uncertainty away. You know it’s a team you can count on, have fun with, and have them on your memory photos to prove it.

Issa is taking care of the GPS maps for the group, we are working on some funky tchotchkes (or whichever way you spell it…) for the team and starting to gather our own gear. Electronics for us and the team, riding gear, SPOT, GPS, Clothes, 5hr energy shots, insurance, visas….

I love that phase. Reading about the destination, anticipating the views, smells, challenges and making mental notes of all the plan B, C, and D for any possible scenario we may encounter.

I’ve been there dozens of times before, and it still gets my adrenaline pumping into the system.

28 days and counting…Image

MaiPerso adventure to Machu Picchu – Day by day

December 19, 2011
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Some more information on the planned route. As you know, the route is a plan that is likely to change.We are trying to experience the country through the lens of the locals. The places we are staying at will be the best we could find in the area, but not western where possible.

In general, we will have breakfast in the hotel, lunch when we feel like it along the route and dinner at our destination.

We would like to stick together but will not be offended if you want to break off for a romantic dinner or a burger with fries…
Friday Jan. 20th
Gather in Lima for a group hug and debrief. (Hugs not mandatory…)
We will all be in town the day before. We will share hotel locations and maybe schedule lunch or dinner for whoever is available
Saturday Jan. 21st – 50 Mile ride
– Morning shuttle from hotel to the Lima airport and a short flight to Cuzco.
– Acclimatize and a Trip to the Sacred Valley for our next stop. We are going to try and get the bikes at the airport or lunch place, and ride to the Sacred Valley for our first two night hotel
Sunday Jan. 22nd
Machu Picchu day. A couple of hours train ride each way and a long day of Inca exploration.
Monday Jan. 23rd – 60 Mile ride
Sacred Valley exploration.
Tuesday Jan. 24th – 250 Mile ride
Sacred Valley to Puno, Lake Titicaca. Afternoon exploring the lake and it’s islands.
Wednesday Jan. 25th – 500 Mile ride
Puno to Potosi.
Late morning crossing of the border from Peru to bolivia and ass hauling down HWY 1 through La Paz to Potosi
Thursday Jan. 26th – 150 mile ride
Morning visit to the Salt mines in Potosi and a 2-3 hour ride in the afternoon to Uyuni.
They say that your rider test in Potosi include a 2 minute ride on the salt lake, blindfolded…
Friday Jan. 27th – 385 Mile ride
Uyuni to San Salvador de Jujuy. Border crossing to Argentina late morning.
Mountainous terrain with a 7,500 ft. descent
Saturday Jan. 28th – 525 Mile ride
Jujuy to Cordoba at Salinas grandes for our final destination. Return of the bikes
Farewell dinner at the ranch.
Sunday Jan. 29th
Breakfast and early departure to Cordoba airport and back to Lima.
Group hug mandatory. Tears optional…
Taking off from the Cordoba airport

Getting ready for The Machu Picchu adventure

November 16, 2011
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The heat is on, we started the countdown to the Machu Picchu trip and the list of todo items is getting longer. Participants confirmed, route confirmed, most flights are booked and theMotorcycles have been secured for the trip. Our Argentinian contact is doing the route, confirming access routes, and some cool spots along the way.
I have organized many trips in my life, for groups varying from a handful of people to several hundreds. Some have been very complex from logistics perspective, but this trip is one of the more exciting for me. It’s the first of many trips we will be doing with MaiPerso. If this adventure is as successful as I envision it to be, we are going to have a blast, with an amazing group of friends, for many years to come.
We have Europe, Japan, Asia, South America, Cuba, China and the Middle East on our list.
Mountains on super bikes, Cuba on vintage Harley’s, Thailand on scooters, Japan and more.
We want to travel the world and see these places through the eyes of the locals, eating local food, sleeping local and leaving with a taste for more.
I am stoked with the thought that we can be doing this over and over, in all those places.
Back to the trip planning. I want it to be perfect, in a funky kind of way.

Join MaiPerso for a 10 day Motorcycle Adventure to Machu Picchu – January 2012

July 24, 2011
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… the pavement ended as the front wheel of my BMW 1200GS hit the gravel. My focus shifted from the mountainous view, to the dirt road I was riding on. It takes me a few minutes to adjust to the new terrain, and I can start looking up around me again. Dramatic clouds and a breath-taking sunset form a perfect frame to this endless road up the Chilean Andes. Twenty odd minutes later, I get a hint of pork roasting over an open fire floating through the air. Dinner is about to be served…

If you would like this to be the way you describe your next travel adventure, join MaiPerso for an unforgettable 10 day adventure to South America. The route will take us from Cuzco Peru, through Machu Picchu at the top of the Andes mountains. We will experience breath taking views as we ride through Bolivia, through the Salt plains of Salta Argentina and on to our final destination in Cordoba Argentina.

Here’s why you want to sign up:

You will be riding about 2,500 KMs (about 1,700 Miles) on a motorbike, through some of the most amazing terrain you have ever experienced.
We are offering a hassle free adventure. Experience the gifts the landscape provides us, without needing to worry about the motorbike, food, lodging and other logistics.

The MaiPerso adventure to South America, is focused on local food and culture. We are offering you the chance to get the lowdown from the cook at the local restaurant and chew “coca leaves” to take care of the elevation sickness just to name a couple.
MaiPerso is intuitive. You want to take that left turn? Go for it. Want to skip a day and catch up tomorrow? In most cases, we can figure it out. We promise to stay flexible.

Did we get you hooked?
The trip includes most everything you need. We will pick you up at the Cuzco airport the first day, and deliver you to an airport on the final day of the trip. You will get a well maintained bike, a support truck and a support team. Your meals and lodging will be arranged, unless you want to take time off from the group.

Please RSVP to keep a place on the trip. We have a handful of spots left.

This is an invitation only trip. Let us know if there is someone you would like to recommend.

The Morning After – Mai Perso is lining up a new trip

May 20, 2011
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When ever we get back home from one of our adventures, people around us listen to our stories in amazement, and we love recounting our time abroad with like-minded friends and family. Simply put, we do not need to be plowing through sand or travel without food at 13k altitude and freezing conditions, to experience an adventure. Some of our greatest adventures have been about the interaction with special people, places, and strange situations, but sinking into a Japanese hot tub in the Tokyo Park Hyatt, followed by a soft bed for a long night sleep, is just as much a part of our memory.

Since we came back from the 2011 Dakar trip in South America, we have been thinking of an alternative way for us to keep traveling, without paying exorbitant fees to a third party. We wanted to find a way to set the quality bar higher, while decreasing the level of risk involved. We also want to have more options for trips that last a week or more, but allow us to keep connected to our daily responsibilities as needed (in other words, as with all dedicated travelers, we make liberal use of technology to keep us in the loop while we are on the road, and we imagine that it’s just as important for you as well!).This is how “MaiPerso” was born. Mai Perso translates to “never lost” in Italian.
We are creating a travelers club that passes the cost savings of the trip to it’s members. A social community that benefits the group. With a reasonable size of membership, we should be able to go places across the globe, without being taken to the cleaners. Here are some ideas to get you excited…
  • We are the core group. As such, we get to choose where we go and how do we want to spend our time.
  • We all are foodies, travel lovers, adventurous, and social. We don’t want to travel alone but dislike “Tour Operators” or organizers, especially their prices and restrictions.
  • We like being in charge but often want someone else to take the detail work away from us.
  • Our life is busy, we need flexibility.

We would love to have you join us for our inaugural “Morning After” tour.
The outline: A 10-day motorcycle trip, starting with a tour of Machu Picchu, Peru and ending in Northern Argentina. We will cover about 2,000 miles in 10 days, allowing for large doses of fun and sightseeing along the way.

  • Timing will be on the heels of the 2012 Dakar race, the week of Jan’ 22-28, 2012.
  • It will be a fully supported trip to the areas where Peru, Bolivia and Argentina meet.
  • 10 days, 8 travel days (mas o menos) adventure, laced with fun and plenty of local experience.
  • Our bike of choice will be the BMW 1200GS (or 650/800GS if you really want one). The bike will be included in the price.
  • We will have a support truck with us. (No kidding. A real support truck).
  • Danielle and I will ride two up, so feel free to bring your significant other along, we will plan the trip in a way that will make it possible and enjoyable for them. They can always join in the support truck or drive their own vehicle if they choose to do so. It will be a blast, and you don’t want them to miss it.

We need your input to help flesh out the outline. Those folks that commit to the trip will be integral to the process of determining where we go and who we meet if they choose to. Rest assured though, we’ll build plenty of flexibility into the trip. Do you want to skip a day and stay at the SPA, take that left turn and explore the winery down the road or that extra twisty trail, have dinner at the table of the local butcher or cheese maker? MaiPerso is your club and the adventure is yours to create.

Let us know if you are game. We want to keep it to a small group and before we open it up to a larger audience, and to make sure you have first right of refusal. We would love to have you as part of the MaiPerso inner circle.

Last but not least: Life isn’t scripted, why should your vacation be?

Camels in Japan?

May 15, 2011
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There are no Camels in Japan. When I first visited the US from Israel, in the late 70’s, people asked me if I owned a Camel and if that is how I got to school. I always considered it a result of ignorance. Israel was a modern country and my Dad was driving an American car at the time.
During this trip to Japan, I had a few “Camel” gaffes and I am about to put myself to shame as a way of redemption.
Rice fields:
on the plane to Tokyo, a lady named Michiko was sitting next to me and we struck a conversation about what to see in Japan. I asked her where can we best see Rice Fields in the country.had pictured in my mind, steaming flooded fields stacked down a mountain side, in a foggy day. She smiled politely, and told me that there are several places depending on where we go. She was polite, Japanese style. Well folks, the answer is everywhere. Once we landed and got out of the airport, we found out that other then down town Tokyo, there is no single road or view that does not include a rice field somewhere. We have 2,000 km of footage to prove it.
When riding into Kyoto, a giant Buddha statue was seen on the mountain above one of the town’s shrines. Whe I was discussing what to see in Kyoto, with the concierge in the hotel, I asked what is the site of the giant stone Buddha. The lady concierge giggled in a typical Japanese way and told me that it was not Buddha, just a stone statue… It sure looked like Buddha to me.
Shoji doors:
Our first night was spent in a traditional Ryokan in Goyakama, a heritage village near Nagano. Danielle was interested to know how do the people here keep the snow out of the house, with the Japanese doors made wood and paper doors. She asked a girl who was sharing dinner with us, how do the doors with Rice paper windows, keep the snow out. The girl giggled and told us that it is just paper, not Rice paper… Didn’t we always learn that Japanese doors and screens are made with wood and rice papers?…

The iPhone in the wild

May 15, 2011
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A BI article touching on iPhone use when traveling, triggered some random thoughts about the changing role of the phone when traveling. The iPhone is your pocket size laptop. Call it whatever you like but these days when we travel we use it for photos and short videos (check out the movie trailer on, all taken with an iPhone), I have my travel guides on the phone, maps, lists of must see spots. I have a GPS tracking app that records our trip, and a translation app for situations in countries with languages we do not speak. It is how we track our flight and change them on the fly if needed, keep up with our blog, post photos to mobileMe, send SMS and MMS to friends and family along the way. We twit and FaceTime when we can, keeping connected to the people who follow us while on the road.

Don’t leave home without one, and make sure you get an international plan to go with it, or AT&T or any other carrier, will take you to the cleaners.

Check out this link

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