The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - ESCAPE - BY AN­THONY DEN­NIS

My wife and I are con­sid­er­ing a trip to Peru. I’ve used a bank travel card in other coun­tries but am un­sure whether to put money into soles or US dol­lars. I’ll need both cur­ren­cies. Peru can be reached from the US or Chile – which would you rec­om­mend? And would you rec­om­mend trav­el­ling by bus, taxi or plane on in­ter­nal trips – lug­gage and per­sonal se­cu­rity be­ing an im­por­tant is­sue? Peru’s of­fi­cial cur­rency is the nuevo sol, which you will need for ba­sic trans­ac­tions such as meals, drinks and trans­port. US dol­lars are wel­come at most shops, restau­rants and ser­vice sta­tions at the pre­vail­ing ex­change rate but make sure the notes are not torn as they may not be ac­cepted. Most es­tab­lish­ments ac­cept the main credit cards, in­clud­ing Visa, Mastercard, Din­ers and Amer­i­can Ex­press. Lonely Planet (lone­lyplanet. com/peru/prac­ti­cal-in­for­ma­tion/ money-costs) does rec­om­mend reload­able travel cards for Peru, which work like ATM cards but aren’t linked to your own bank ac­count. You can top up funds while you’re trav­el­ling but do take a credit card as a back-up. The eas­i­est way to Peru is with LAN Air­lines (lan.com), the na­tional car­rier of Chile which flies from Syd­ney to San­ti­ago with con­nec­tions to Lima, the cap­i­tal of Peru, and other ports. The Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment’s Smart Trav­eller web­site says that theft on in­ter-city bus routes is com­mon. De­pend­ing on where you in­tend to travel, fly­ing be­tween the main cities, town and sights, may be the best op­tion though be aware that Peru has suf­fered sev­eral light plane and he­li­copter ac­ci­dents in re­cent years, ac­cord­ing to Smart Trav­eller. My wife and I are off to Ukraine in Au­gust. Af­ter a week in Lviv we would like to travel by train to Bu­dapest in Hun­gary and then on to Za­greb in Croa­tia. I can find a timetable from Kiev to Lviv but can­not find suit­able con­nec­tions. Can you help? The di­rect train from Kiev to Bu­dapest stops in Lviv but then runs overnight from Lviv to Bu­dapest, ac­cord­ing to Kieran Healy, the Doc’s reg­u­lar Hu­man Timetable from Rail Plus (railplus.com.au), the Aus­tralian-based train travel spe­cial­ists. “If you would pre­fer to travel dur­ing the day from Lviv to Bu­dapest you can do so, though the jour­ney is not di­rect and would re­quire two changes of train,” says Healy. “Pas­sen­gers must take a train from Lviv to Chop, then an­other over the bor­der to Za­hony and fi­nally from Za­hony to Bu­dapest – a jour­ney time of about 13½ hours (with com­fort­able con­nec­tion times). Ticket for this jour­ney must be pur­chased lo­cally. Times and con­nec­tions are sub­ject to change with sched­ules con­firmed by mid June for travel in Au­gust.”

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