Peru will NOT protect you from yourself . . . it´s kind of refreshing actually.

For instance – walking down the street can be hazardous. That is, if you don´t pay attention. On just about every city block there are great big gaping holes in the sidewalk from where someone has stolen a manhole cover or a utility panel. Sometimes these holes are a few inches deep and full of trash. Sometimes they are a few feet deep. Never are they cordoned off.

And hiking is still fun and adventurous in this country. Several times we´ve scooted across flimsy little bridges made of rotting bamboo poles that groan and creek when we step on them. Hand holds are a luxury. A couple of times we´ve encountered wooden ladders nailed into the sides of mountains that stretch up more than the equivalent of six stories. You can´t see the end of them, you just keep climbing and never look down . . . the wood is green with mold and kind of slick to the touch and every once in awhile a rung has rotted away.

Sometimes there are exposed electric wires coming out of the shower head . . . Matt got a shock the other day. Eh, it happens. Building permits are unheard of, so anything goes. A friend of ours has a staircase made out of wood slats about the thickness of veneer . . . good thing he´s not too fat.

Nope, no one in Peru is going to hold you by the hand and alert you to the dangers in the streets, houses or on the mountaintops. You have to take care of yourself, use your brains, keep your eyes open and alert . . . and not do dumb shit.