Hello from Cusco

Machu Picchu

The wife and I at Machu Picchu

To get things started let me tell you all a little about myself and how I came to live in Cusco. My name is Lyle Walker and I am an American who originally grew up in a small town in Southern California, I relocated to Las Vegas in 1989 after marrying my first wife and spent the following 23 years working as an Engineer for several Major industrial laundry’s that service the hotel industry, with my most recent position being that of Chief Engineer for Boyd Gaming’s Laundry in Henderson.

I met my beautiful Peruvian wife Liliana (Lily) in 2005 and we were married in 2006. Lily loves to travel and had spent much of her life traveling the globe. I on the other hand had never left the US and had only been to a few states, half of which were visited while I was serving in the military and I don’t think that really counts as travel. Consequently after meeting Lily, I was introduced to world travel and have loved every adventure we have taken.

My first trip to Peru was back in 2006, on this trip we visited Cusco and several of the surrounding sights including Machu Picchu, we also spent almost a week in Lily’s parent’s home town of San Ramon. This is when I fell in love with Peru, while Lima is not my favorite city, as it is a major metropolitan city and essentially the Peruvian equivalent of say Los Angeles. Growing up in a small town I really enjoyed my time in San Ramon, I love the small town vibe with its friendly people and slow pace, a small town may not have all of the conveniences of a big city, but you don’t have all the stress, noise, congestion and pollution of a big city either.

Several years after getting married we started making plans to retire early and decided to find a place abroad to open a bed and breakfast, as we both like Italy we started our search there. While Italy is a beautiful country with lots of small towns and a good tourist industry, the costs and logistics involved for a non-European to move there with the intention of running a business and living made it impractical. After determining that Italy was not going to work for us we turned our attention to Peru, Lily being a citizen make the immigration process much easier and the cost of living is good, these facts along with a growing tourist industry are what steered us to Cusco.

Now that a location had been chosen all that was left was to find a property to purchase, so in January of 2012 we made a trip back to Cusco with the intention of purchasing a property to use as a bed and breakfast. We spent almost a week looking at different properties in and around Cusco, not really wanting to deal with the big city vibe; we chose a property in a small town just outside of Cusco called Huarocondo. We moved here in August and officially opened our Bed and breakfast, now known as GringWasi, in September. I am really enjoying life here and find this small town a welcome and relaxing change from my 23 years in Vegas.

Through this Blog I plan on posting what is happening here at GringoWasi, my observations and travels here in the Cusco region, as well as tips from myself and our guests for travelers planning on visiting the Cusco region. I hope that readers will find what I have to offer to be interesting and informative. Thanks for visiting and may all your travels be fulfilling.

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22 Responses to Hello from Cusco

  1. Pingback: Awards | chef mimi blog

  2. Sartenada says:

    I love Peru! If You read my About me then You see that South America is my favorite continent. Can You hear yet today Cumbias in Peru!

    I have also an “ahijada” in Peru. That You completely understand my love to Peru, You understand it when I tell that my daughter is called Inca.

    ¡Que tenga un muy buen día!

  3. Rosemarie says:

    Nice to meet you, Lyle. Your story is so interesting. I have mused a lot on relocating abroad for my golden years. I don’t know if it will happen. My two children are in the States and one, at least, vigorously opposes my ideas about being an expatriate. We shall see. Nevertheless, I really look forward to following your blog and your continuing saga. Sí! Que tenga un muy buen día! Rosemarie

    • Lyle says:

      Thanks for checking out my Blog, and I am glad you found it interesting. Re-locating abroad was definitely a big decision, but well worth it in my opinion.

  4. Best of luck. We are looking forward to seeing Peru for the first time.

  5. Hi,

    I just found your blog and wanted to invite you to guest post on our site Retirement And Good Living about living and/or vacationing in Peru.

    Please send me an email and I will forward additional information.

    Thanks,
    Simone

  6. Miguel Saucedo says:

    EEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHH PINCHI

  7. Glad to have found you here, Lyle. My wife and I are going to be in Cusco from July 15 to August 31. (I’m just starting our search for an apartment, if you have any ideas for me. Actually, that’s why I came to your website, hoping for some apartment hunting tips. I just got here, though.)

    You mention of Italy caught my attention, because we are just wrapping six months living in Pallanza in northern Italy. It’s been great, but now we’re ready to begin our South American adventure, starting with Cuenca, Ecuador, then Brazil, then Cusco.

    Just getting started with Cusco, so your blog will be a Godsend. Thanks.

    • Lyle says:

      Hi Bob, glad to hear that you are enjoying my blog. One of the better places that we have found for looking for apartments when traveling is Airbnb, you should be able to find a wide variety there.

      Hope that you enjoy your time in Cusco.

  8. german gudiel says:

    nice to know that you live in huarocondo i know that district i am from zurite i am currently living in mountain view ca hopefully on my trip to Peru i can meet you

  9. Alexandra Atrton says:

    Hi Lyle
    I like the way you have described your life style!
    We are an Australuan couple from north coast nsw near Coffs Harbour. We are interested in visiting South America, particularly Peru, this year. We are retired and planning to spend 3 months in South America. Plans are not firm yet. We are just investigating and dreaming at this stage. We have travelled to many countries throughout our lives but have never been to South America.
    Regards
    Alexandra

  10. Marie and Mark Dragone says:

    Hi Lyle
    We are also planning on retiring early, life is too short. We hope to do this in 2018. We are differently interested in Peru from all that we have researched. Like you we like smaller towns and a slower pace. We keep reading how a couple can live very comfortably on 1000-1200 a month., This I find hard to believe. We also have 2 dogs we want to bring with us so we think we will need a house. We would love to stay at your B&B on our trip. We are thinking March of 2017. Do you have any advice for people who want to retire in Peru. Looking forward to reading your blog, Marie

    • Lyle says:

      Hi Marie and thank you for checking out my blog. Depending on where you are living and what the current exchange rate is, living on 1000-1200 a month could easily be done, and while our town is not the typical location for expats, our typical monthly expenses, not figuring having guests here, are about S/960.00 Soles, or at the current exchange rate $286.57 USD. As for retiring to Peru, it may become harder in the future unless one person is Peruvian, I have been hearing on the expat groups that they are making changes to some of the laws. Originally you could get 6 months when you arrive and then just exit for a day or two and then return and get another 6 months, but there is talk that they are going to limit tourist visas to one 6 month period every year, if they do this then it will make living here harder without residency or citizenship, unless they also make changes to the residence requirements. As My wife is Peruvian I don’t really follow this much as it will not impact me, I would recommend joining one of the Peru or Lima expat groups on Facebook, there are also a couple of websites I used before moving http://www.expatperu.com/ and http://www.expatperu.com/ you might find additional information there. If they do change the rules for Visa entry another SA location to look into would be Ecuador, they have a law that allows residency if you make over a certain amount a month, which just happens to be the minimum SS payout. Feel free to contact me directly at the e-mail on my contact page with any additional questions about living or visiting here, and I look forward to meeting you if you do visit.

  11. Hi Lyle,

    I’m an American who recently moved to Peru with my wife, daughter, and small terrier.

    We are living in Ica, Peru, where my wife is from. It’s down the coast from Lima – desert and ocean, and amazingly, lots and lots of farms.

    It’s been a great experience so far, and I’ve been writing about it on a blog I created. I think it is interesting what you have to say about San Ramon and small towns, some of it I think applies to where we are. It’s definitely quite a marked (and welcome) contrast, coming from Washington, D.C.

    Anyway, I’m enjoying reading about your experiences here as a fellow transplant. You can take a look at what I’ve had to say here:
    https://www.theundiscoveredperu.com/places/ica/santuario-de-yauca.html

    Best,
    John

    • Lyle says:

      Hi John, always nice to hear from other ex-pats and I will have to take a look at your blog as I have time. Glad to hear that you are enjoying my posts and if the next time you are in the Cusco area, we would love to meet you and the family.

      Take care,
      Lyle

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