Peru Interview with Lindsey Carver – Machu Picchu, Rayan Community, and Salsa Dancing!

Welcome back to the Peru Travel Podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, TuneIn, or listen in the media player above.

We have our very first guest interview on the podcast today! The first traveler that the guys behind Cachi Life got to meet while they were in Peru, Lindsey Carver.

Quickly after meeting Lindsey, she and her friend Joe, take them on their first Salsa dancing experience.

Lindsey covers her top three experiences in Peru including Machu Picchu, Rayan Community, and sandboarding the dune. She goes into detail why Rayan was the most culturally rich experience while in Peru.

She talks about trying to tip her tour guide, Gloria, in Peru and why Gloria would not accept the tip.

Finally, Lindsey gives her top three tips from a travelers standpoint on what people should bring with them when traveling to Peru. Be sure to listen to the end to hear her top three recommendations. There is a possibility that she recommends a niche cleanliness tip we have covered before. ?

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Below is a transcript which has been modified for your reading pleasure.

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Transcription

David Kosloski: 00:03 What’s going on everyone? Welcome back to the Peru Travel Podcast. I’m your host, David Kosloski, next to me, my sidekick, Charlie Thompson. Today, we’ve got some really cool. We’re actually going to be reaching out to one of our travelers. Almost said first, but she wasn’t, she was kind of down the list. But one of our travelers, we’re really excited to have her on the show. She’s charismatic, she’s funny, she’s entertaining and she has a really good story about kind of why she went to Peru.

Charlie Thompson: 00:29 She’s witty, she’s a nurse.

David Kosloski: 00:33 She is witty and at the end of the day we’re just looking to kind of get some insight from her. Somebody who traveled with us, but at the same time, it’s going to give you guys another sideline view of Peru. And really she did some things that we don’t offer. We kinda wanted to hear about that ourselves and get an idea as to what she did, what she thought of it, and see what her favorite thing was.

Charlie Thompson: 00:53 This was one of our travelers that we met while we were down in Peru a couple weeks ago, or a month ago. I guess over a month ago now. It seems like yesterday, but it still seems like a long time ago. I miss it already.

David Kosloski: 01:07 Yeah. Well that being said, let’s not waste any time. Let’s get right into calling our friend Lindsey.

David Kosloski: 01:19 We’re calling her right now. It’s ringing.

Lindsey Carver: 01:28 Hello?

David Kosloski: 01:28 Lindsey Carter. What’s going on?

Lindsey Carver: 01:32 Hey, how are you?

David Kosloski: 01:33 I’m good. This is David. Obviously, Charlie’s on with me as well.

Charlie Thompson: 01:36 Hey Lindsey, how’s it going?

Lindsey Carver: 01:39 Good.

David Kosloski: 01:39 So what’s special about Lindsey is that we actually got to meet. She is the first traveler that we got to meet in person, which was huge for us.

Charlie Thompson: 01:49 That was actually really exciting and really cool when we were down there. We didn’t even know if it was going to happen until like the day before. So it was, it was really exciting and really cool to meet somebody who booked with us and took a trip with us.

David Kosloski: 02:02 Yeah, it was awesome. And obviously she was there with a friend Joe, and they were awesome to hang out with and we had a good time. She likes to… Was it salsa dance?

Charlie Thompson: 02:10 Yes. She loves to salsa. Right, Lindsey?

Lindsey Carver: 02:13 Y’all would bring that up. We did. We did go salsa dancing.

Charlie Thompson: 02:21 So what we do, what Cachi does is the night before you have an orientation, we kind of tell you what to expect the next day. What time the guy is going to be there to pick you up and take you on your travels. The food and all that stuff. So the orientation, it lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. David or one of our guides will be there for you. So we went to this orientation and we couldn’t even get out what we wanted to say. And Lindsay was like, “Hey, you guys want to go salsa dancing?”

David Kosloski: 02:49 It’s pretty awesome. Lindsey, we’re gonna just ask you a couple simple questions. Really easy going. The first one is really about you and kind of who you are, what your story is. I think you just got out of college if I’m not mistaken. We know your full-time job. But give us a slate of who you are as a person. Who is Lindsey?

Lindsey Carver: 03:08 Okay, so I graduated in May from James Madison University in Virginia and then moved to Richmond and I work as a nurse full time. So my schedule is pretty flexible so I like to pack my shifts like three in a row and then take a few days off and then the following week I’ll take three in a row so I’m able to travel a lot. And Joe was just a mutual friend that was looking for someone to travel with to Peru. So I jumped on board and we landed in Peru and then I came across you guys listening to this podcast on Spotify. I was just trying to get like packing lists, tips. Then try to figure out the best way for us to see Machu Picchu and I came across you guys. That’s pretty awesome when we found out that you were actually in Peru at the same time that we were. That was really cool meeting you guys and really see the mission and the passion you guys have for this company.

David Kosloski: 04:06 That’s awesome. So why Peru? What was your reasoning? What made you think of Peru?

Charlie Thompson: 04:15 Before we get to that question, I got to cut you off. David. I really want to highlight what she said about her job and being able to travel. She’s a nurse and she plans it out. You said you worked three days, and then you have a couple days off and then you work another three days right in a row. So you have a long stretch off and you’re able to travel all over the place. This is something that you’ve kind of built your life around, right?

Lindsey Carver: 04:38 Yeah. Next week I’m going to San Diego. I can work three days and then take three days off. And then the following two weeks later when I have to work again, I worked three days the end of the week, so I only take three days off, but I have a 15-day stretch where I can go somewhere.

David Kosloski: 04:59 That’s awesome.

Charlie Thompson: 05:01 That’s really amazing. I wish that we could just travel for that much. That’d be amazing.
Lindsey Carver: 05:10 It’s hard though don’t get me wrong, but it’s worth it all in the end.

David Kosloski: 05:12 And so what made you think of Peru? What was your moment where you’re, “I really want to go here and here’s why.”

Lindsey Carver: 05:21 I don’t really think it was that way. I think it was just why not?

David Kosloski: 05:25 Yeah, look at that. It was a why not? That’s special. That’s awesome.

Lindsey Carver: 05:30 Everyone wants to see Machu Picchu. It’s one of those bucket list things that you know you have to do.

David Kosloski: 05:38 What would you say that when going to Peru, your favorite thing was that you did? And it doesn’t need to be necessarily anything they did with Cachi. We’re just curious to know kind of what it is that you did and what was your most memorable moment or maybe you’ve had a couple of talk about them. Let’s hear them.

Lindsey Carver: 05:53 Okay. Can I give you the top three?

David Kosloski: 05:55 Absolutely. Top threes are great!

Lindsey Carver: 05:58 Okay. Obviously, Machu Picchu was awesome. It was more than I expected. It was just gorgeous.

David Kosloski: 06:03 Break it down. Break that down real quick. What was gorgeous and amazing about it?

Charlie Thompson: 06:07 So I think you’re about ready to say like pictures never do anything justice and this is definitely one it’s not even close.

Lindsey Carver: 06:15 Not even, no. And I did a Vistadome through you guys. So I didn’t even hike the Inca Trail. I can’t even imagine. I’m serious, the sense of accomplishment that you had seen it after hiking for a few days. You know, I just was comfortable riding a train, but that was cool too. And then what else you got? So I would say that the day with you guys, for Rayan, the Rayan Community. I don’t know if you’ve touched on that on any of your podcast. That could be its whole own segment.

David Kosloski: 06:50 Lindsey’s telling us how to market right now. Look here, guys. This was a great tour you need to talk about this on every podcast. It’s in the plans. I mean we’re going to probably put this out before possibly. We know we need to do one on Rayan. We’re kind of waiting because we want to get some more people out there to kind of get their feedback. And you were our very first Rayan Community tour. What made that great? Just out of curiosity.

Lindsey Carver: 07:15 Okay. So to sum it up, I think, you know, I spent a week in Lima and that shows you the well off. The city way of living and it’s only one-third of the population, but I feel like the day tour with Rayan. So that’s the way the rest of the country and the majority of the country truly live. And, it was such insight and to me, that was cooler than Machu Picchu just because the views were probably just as great. There were Incan ruins up there as well. And then we also got to meet local people and help them see how they lived and share a meal with them. So that was good. That was just richer and value. I think.

David Kosloski: 07:58 Sweet. Leave it to Lindsay to melt your heart.

Charlie Thompson: 08:04 And Dave’s right. We’re going to do an episode on this because this is honestly, this tour changed my life when I went on it. And what you said, I think to have a meal with the people and everything that you highlighted. That’s what makes Rayan so special. So that’s two out of three. What was the third one?

Lindsey Carver: 08:21 The third one was something that I don’t think you did right? The sandboarding?

David Kosloski: 08:26 We did not. We want to, we want to go sandboarding.

Lindsey Carver: 08:31 That was a fun day. So we went sand buggy riding. There was someone who drove us around and he was reckless. I don’t remember his name now, but it was crazy. I had bruises the next day, but it was so fun, it was worth it. And so you ride around on the sand buggies and then we watched this on the top of the Dune. Then you could, if you’re really good, you can get snowboarding boards and then actually stand on them. But I just did it on my belly

Charlie Thompson: 09:02 That would be me too.

Lindsey Carver: 09:06 And it was a lot of fun. I’ve never been to a desert, so I’ve never seen any type of terrain like that before, but it was absolutely gorgeous.

David Kosloski: 09:13 Yeah. I’m sure it’s a different type of beauty. That definitely is on my bucket list to see a desert like that. So, now that we talked about your top three. we’ve talked a little bit about Rayan Community tour. We talked a little about Machu Picchu, so as a whole, you know, your experience. Did you do any other tours in Cusco with any other companies? Just curious.

Lindsey Carver: 09:35 We did. So the Huacachina, Los Uros Island. It was all one day and that’s just the sandboarding. And then we went to, it’s called the Little Galapagos Island. And we did all of that with Peru Hop, which I think is also run or started by Americans.

David Kosloski: 09:54 Yeah, yeah. I remember you kind of talking to us about that. So if you were to break down your experience, this is the plug of the show, everyone is listening. So just be ready if you were to break down your experience. And we did not plan this. This is not something that we call Lindsey ahead of time. We literally knew that she had a great trip. She wrote a review on TripAdvisor and on Facebook and so we just kind of want to get her in to see what her thoughts are about our guides. About the people that she got to meet and kind of the whole experience with Cachi and really be relentless. Like if there’s something negative we want to hear it and just let it all out as to how you felt, what the trip was like, the people you were like the employees, the community, etc. I’m going to let you just slate and we’re just going to listen to the story you’re about to tell.

Lindsey Carver: 10:38 All right. Well, obviously I don’t even think it compares because we got to meet you guys. But even if we hadn’t seriously, I mean I think that you’re available. Well, I remember listening to this podcast, and you’re saying just email. So we did. We communicated via email before we even met you. And so it just created a sense of connection I guess to the company and what we are paying money for it. But then on the other tour that we did without you guys, it was a huge group of people. Both of the tours that we booked for you guys, it was private tours. So it was just me and my friends and we really connected with the tour guides. We spent the whole day with them. We could ask them questions if we wanted more free time, they would give it to us.

Lindsey Carver: 11:19 It was just more individualized and I felt like that was a greater experience rather than just being loaded onto a bus and taken somewhere. We were picked up in a private taxi with the tour guide in a taxi that you guys had hired and the taxi driver ended up coming along with us the whole day at Rayan, which I thought was really cool. So he was sharing in that too, and he was out there digging potatoes with us and doing things to give back to the community and you could just tell that it was enriching for him as well.

David Kosloski: 11:45 Yeah, I mean that’s kind of crazy how we experienced something similar to that with ours. I don’t know if you guys took a van or a car. But we experienced something very similar where our driver came out with us. I think what’s beautiful about the Rayan Community Tour is you really get a sense of how proud these people are about the Peruvian culture and how everyone really is looking to help everyone in that specific region of the country. And Lima, it’s a city like New York, right? I mean it’s a city just like anywhere else in the United States. It’s very hustle and bustle. It’s moving. It’s got great economic growth right now. They’re blowing away everybody in South America. But then just outside of Lima, you’ve got cities that are still trying to develop. They’re still trying to grow and people see that. People who live there see it. And especially guys like David. Did David end up going on the Rayan Community Tour with you guys?

Lindsey Carver: 12:38 Yeah, he did. It was awesome.

David Kosloski: 12:40 And David is somebody who really is a huge hero in my mind because he is somebody who lives there. He has a great job, right? He has a great job in terms of that. He works with us and he gets paid very well for doing so. But his passion for the locals is absolutely phenomenal. You can’t help but love him because the second that they showed up, he looks at them and from what we were told, and correct me if I’m wrong. Lindsay. He’s like, “All right, you guys are gonna work in the fields and put you guys to work. And was like, start learning. Yeah. It’s awesome.

Lindsey Carver: 13:16 Yeah that’s what he said, “Start learning, you need to learn the way.” We did definitely.

Charlie Thompson: 13:17 I love that. And Dave, you mentioned a great thing, David in Peru, Villagra is his name. He loves the people so much because in part he grew up that way. David grew up Quechua. That’s his native, that’s what runs through his blood and he cares so much. And I think that shows through his work and through the connection that he makes with people. That’s what he showed to us. And that’s what it sounds like he showed to you guys too Lindsey. Yeah.

David Kosloski: 13:47 So, I’m curious, you speak really good Spanish. We experienced that when you’re there.

Charlie Thompson: 13:52 I don’t know if you caught what she was saying, some Spanish words earlier when she was talking about going to some islands and stuff like that. They were really, really well spoken,

David Kosloski: 14:01 I’m not an expert at Spanish clearly.

Lindsey Carver: 14:07 You guys are giving me too much credit.

David Kosloski: 14:07 So, when you were there at Rayan, were you able to communicate at all with the locals or was it kind of broken?

Lindsey Carver: 14:15 It was very broken because they speak Quechua and I don’t speak that at all.

David Kosloski: 14:19 Yeah, that’s crazy.

Lindsey Carver: 14:24 You would think it would be very similar to Spanish, but usually the Quechua people speak Spanish as their native language.

David Kosloski: 14:28 Yeah. That’s crazy. And when David started speaking Quechua you just kind of got lost?

Lindsey Carver: 14:33 Exactly. Yeah.

David Kosloski: 14:34 That’s funny. We heard a little bit about your trip to Machu Picchu. I’m going to start wrapping this up, but I gotta ask one thing. I got an email from Joe. Joe is the gentleman that you were going with and I want to get Joe on the show to tell this story, but I need to know if this is true. And I need to know if… It just seems crazy to me that this actually happened. I kind of want to know how this played out, how to end it because I didn’t get to communicate with anybody. But he told me that you guys were in Machu Picchu. Your guide was who?

Lindsey Carver: 15:08 It was a female. You guys told me it was going to be someone and then it was Gloria.

David Kosloski: 15:13 Gloria. Okay. Yeah, I thought it was gonna be Frank. So my question is, supposedly you guys went to tip Gloria and she refused.

Lindsey Carver: 15:23 That’s true. So, she did an awesome job and we wanted to reward her for that. We felt like she least deserved it. So we went to pull out the money and she kind of put her hands up. She said, “No, I get paid well through the company. And we were so surprised that she was doing this because she enjoys doing it and obviously you guys are paying her well enough to where she doesn’t feel the need to accept the tip.

David Kosloski: 15:46 That’s crazy. And, and honestly, if I ever saw her, I’d be like, you need to take tips. Still, take the tips. Take the tips, it’s ok.

Lindsey Carver: 15:51 I was like, no need to go give it to her. He didn’t want to be rude.

David Kosloski: 16:01 That’s crazy. I still would have told her, please take the tip. I think hearing that on our end that was really special and it really made my heart warm to know that, we are making sure that people are getting taken care of and hearing that sort of validates it. At the same time, we don’t want to put a persona that people shouldn’t tip because it’s still good to tip. And obviously, if she doesn’t take it, there’s nothing you can do about that.

Charlie Thompson: 16:26 I think that’s probably the most humbling story that Cachi can hear because like David said, that truly makes it all worth it. That’s what makes it worth it in the end. And what makes us so passionate about what we’re doing.

David Kosloski: 16:43 Yeah. That’s great. That’s super cool. Well, if you were to give one or two or three tips to people listening right now. The final thing that we’re going to get out of you. What would they be? You’re going to Peru? What are the tips? Let’s say somebody reached out to say, “Hey, I’m thinking about going to Peru. I don’t know Spanish. I don’t know anything about Peru. What do you got?”

Lindsey Carver: 17:03 Can they be simple?

David Kosloski: 17:04 They can be super simple.

Lindsey Carver: 17:07 Okay. You don’t need a converter. I brought a converter. I was thinking I would need one. I ordered currency. So I ordered the sole before I got there and I think that was awesome. to have that right off the bat. Especially if you don’t speak Spanish, not having to worry about exchanging it somewhere. You can order it from your local bank and just have money ready to go. This is also really silly, but someone told me to take baby wipes.

David Kosloski: 17:43 I tell everyone to take baby wipes!

Lindsey Carver: 17:43 Really? I don’t know what it is, but I use the whole pack. After sandboarding, I was kinda like sandy and dirty. I mean I use them a lot. I just carried them with me everywhere I went. So those would be my top three.

David Kosloski: 17:56 That’s great. Well, Lindsey, we want to thank you so very much. We might try to get you on the show us more time if you tell us some more crazy information about your trip or if you’re going back. Definitely, want to get Joe, but thank you so very much for hanging out with us. I can’t thank you enough for being one of our travelers that we got to meet. Hopefully, in the future, we’ll see you again. You know, I told you you’re going to get an invite to the wedding. Hopefully you come party with us. Thanks so much. We appreciate you hanging out with us today.

Lindsey Carver: 18:23 I appreciate you guys, seriously. I hope to see you again too.

Charlie Thompson: 18:27 Thanks, Lindsey. Thank you so much. We definitely appreciate it.

David Kosloski: 18:30 Well guys, that was Lindsey Carver, one of our Cachi travelers. Thanks for listening so much. Can’t wait to talk to you guys next week.

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