'This is insane!' Couple feared abducted in Peru are found - kayaking up the Amazon

 

Lima

Two American tourists feared dead or kidnapped deep in the Amazon Basin have turned up at a Peruvian military base, apparently bemused that their attempt to get away from it all sparked such alarm.

Jamie Neal and Garrett Hand, both 25 and from Oakland, California, triggered concerns after suddenly stopping posts to Facebook and withdrawals of money from their bank accounts a month ago, during a bike ride across South America.

The pair surfaced earlier this week near Peru’s border with Ecuador, after several weeks staying with isolated indigenous communities, with no internet or phones. As they enjoyed their escape from modernity, the couple had no idea of the worry caused by the abrupt and unannounced break in their electronic trail.

“Everyone is interviewing us and taking photos, saying that we are now famous in Peru,” Ms Neal wrote from a military base in Pantoja, northern Peru. “The Peruvian military gave us our own house to stay in and food  and a bunch of booze to drink. This is insane.”

The Peruvian Amazon region attracts travellers from around the world, keen to view wildlife such as caymans, howler monkeys and myriad bird species.

Yet it can be a dangerous place. Remnants of the Shining Path terrorists are still holed up in a couple of remote valleys, occasionally kidnapping oil workers, murdering police patrols and shooting down army helicopters.

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