Greetings Travelers,

PERU AND MACHU PICCHU were amazing this month.  Since March we have Kat tracked at a fast pace through AUSTRALIA, PARIS, TOKYO, BANGKOK, and VIETNAM. Now as we move onward and upward I must share with you the latest happenings in my world.   Remaining for the 2017 WORLD TOUR is  Negril, Jamaica in July; Fiji in August —  2 destinations to surely get all the rest and relaxation your doctor has ordered you to get.  We still have some space for those two.  Immediately following will be the allure of SOUTH AFRICA in September, and the Canary Islands cruise in October.

Then we Kat-A- Pult to 2018 and its going to be a very exciting year. In March I will be collaborating with my fellow foodie and long time road dawg, the Incomparable, energetic, urban lifestyle specialist of Miami Beach…none other than Ms Robbie Bell.  We plan to bring to you some local color;  Jazz in the Gardens. Not to be missed!  April in Black Paris has 1 room available.  In May we are planning to go back to Peru but with a definite Afro- Peruvian twist to it this time around.

June is Marvelous Marseille (south of France)  –  1 room available.   September we are going back to SOUTH AFRICA – We have 4 rooms available.  October is Egypt — Sold Out.  November is Dubai – Sold Out.  December birthdays in The Maldives – Sold Out.  It’s going to be a birthday party:  My daughter Alicia “DeeDee” Bailey,  Dee “Dupe” Bradford, and Alicia “Gail” Wilkins…..Time to Party and Relax…Relax and Party!

Also in the works for 2018  will be more local color in collaboration with International Wine Broker & Cigar Connoisseur Mr. Jess Peters who knows everything going on in Nawlins, some jazz, wine & cigar tasting and good food —- I cant wait to get back to some of those “charbroiled oysters” — out of this world. We plan to bring it!!!  Stay tuned!

In closing; if you want Paris 2017,  Marseille 2018, South Africa 2018  let me hear from you.  Please check out our updated 2017-2018 website  kattraxonline.com

Until next time,

Kat  StThomas

Cusco City, Peru

Cusco, designated a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. This is where we spent our last 2 nights. By the way,  It has the highest elevation out of all our stops. In doing a similar trip it’s best to do it as we did in order to slowly acclimate yourself to the high altitude and hopefully avoid Altitude Sickness. We started at sea level in Lima, then 3 nights in the Sacred Valley (9,000 ft), then Machu Picchu (7900 ft) and then finally Cusco (11,000 ft).  You never know who will or won’t get Altitude Sickness. Some of the most fittest of fit get the symptoms.  It’s best to take every possible precaution you can.  Our group was truly blessed; only 1 or 2 felt symptoms but most importantly all survived Machu Picchu plus the younger folks double dipped the next day and hit the Inca Trail.

After breakfast the group walked to town to a local restaurant to discover the tastes and textures of Andean Peruvian cuisine. They had a lesson in the preparation of several dishes by an expert Chef.  Of course, they dined on what they prepared and enjoyed an amazing lunch.

Later they explored more of the city which had been celebrating several days and nights their annual “Festival of the Sun”.  They visited the Cathedral of Cusco and the legendary Koricancha, the temple devoted to worshiping the Sun deity and whose walls were once plated with sheets of gold.

This evening we sky up and head home. I hope you all enjoyed Kat Trackin’ with me on this one.  Shouts out to: Slow, TC, Glenis, T-Dub, Dupree,  Cousin Donnie, Yahya, Roscoe, Matlock,  and Lil Rico.

Next stop will be Negril, Jamaica next month.



The first Africans arrived in Peru with the Conquistadors in 1521.  Between 1529-1537 Francisco Pizarro was granted permits to import 363 slaves to Colonial Peru.  A large group of Africans were imported to do labor for public construction, building bridges and road systems.  They also fought alongside the Conquistadors as soldiers and worked  as personal servants and bodyguards.  In 1533 Afro Peruvian Slaves accompanied Spaniards in the conquest of Cuzco—- where we are this day, June 11, 2017.

Over the course of the slave trade approximately 95,000 slaves were brought into Peru. Today Afro Peruvians also known as Afrodescent Peruvians reside mainly on the central and south coasts with the  majority in the provinces of Lima, Chincha, Ica and Nazca.

My plan is to return to Peru next May on an 8 day tour  and visit the areas of the Afro Peruvian communities; Lima, Ica and also Lake Titicaca.  I know some have thought that was a fictional name.  For years I thought that.  As a child watching Amos and Andy, that’s where I heard names that I thought were made up names like Lake Titicaca, Zambezi river, Chinchilla  (remember Kingfish bought Sapphire that Chinchilla coat?)  Well we saw some Chinchillas last week right here in the Sacred Valley and a few years ago I cruised on the Zambezi River that runs between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Andy taught me this word when I was about 9.  He said he was going to go on the Zambezi River.  I sure thought that had to be fictional.

If you think you would like to be a part of this tour, inbox me at rivoli98@yahoo.com

We’ve “Kat-A-Pulted” To 2018

Some of you have been waiting patiently for information on upcoming  2018 tours. This is to update those who never got on the “interested” list or who may have communicated with me by phone but I am without your email address.   Here is an update:



Sept 15 -25 SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI – $4150pp

Oct 17-30  EGYPTIAN ODYSSEY  $2425pp

Nov 14-19  EXOTIC DUBAI  $1680pp 

Dec 7-12    THE MALDIVES (over water bungalows)  cost TBA but less than $2500pp  






No Indiana Jones…But

We all made it to the top. This is a day we shall never forget. At 745am we were checked out of the Sonesta Hotel and driven to the Ollanta Train Station to board the classy Vistadome scenic rail.  It wasn’t the  expensive Hiram Bingham but for 90 mins it was perfect.  We were on our way to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. We relaxed in our comfortable seats being served snacks and beverages.  Coca tea was my choice of beverage. I wanted my breathing and oxygen levels to be right. I even bought some coca gum on the train for that extra boost of energy I knew I would need.  Now in case you didn’t know; I initially had no plans to join the eager hikers on this phase of the tour. It was way out of my comfort zone.

Along the way we had breathtaking views of the rushing waters of the Uruhamba river and the high peaks of the Andean glaciers.  Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the train ride. Our hotel INKATERRA was only a 5 min walk from the station in Aguas Calientes. Half went with our guide to drop off back packs and leave jackets of which were no way needed this day. It was a beautiful day in the low 80s.  From the station we walked thru the small town to the bus station where a bus would take us 25 mins up the mountainside.

Before our ascent we relaxed and had a lovely buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge.  My breakfast this morning consisted of…. yep… coca tea, no food.  My intent was to keep my lunch as light as possible– 2 pieces of grilled chicken, some beets, a few chips, a dollop of guacamole  and water, followed by… yep my coca gum.   No doubt the coca tea aided in diminishing my normally ravenous appetite.  Once I made up my mind to do this after arriving in Lima, I knew I had to thug it out and not be outdone by the youngsters in the group nor those more mature that walk everyday.

The climb was up uneven granite steps, rocky areas, and some slopes.  Yes it was grueling at times and a few times I said to myself, “to hell with this” but I hung in there with the words of our guide ringing in my ears, ” we’re almost there and the view at the top is so amazing.  It’s worth every step”.  Truer words never spoken.  I can’t explain the feeling that came over me after reaching the top but it was one that will not soon be forgotten.  I’ve seen captivating views in all my worldwide travels and this one has to be placed near the top. It made my heart glad to see the group so ecstatic as they marveled at the view and took their pictures.

They were on a mission, they had the main temples and hidden corners to explore. They stayed an additional hour and a half.  My mission was over and I headed back down solo, encountering others who couldn’t make it to the top.  Luckily, after my descent, the 25 min bus ride, the walk thru Town, I found my way to the INKATERRA HOTEL. Remember,  I never went to the hotel.  I left from the train station.  Once at the hotel, I checked in, was escorted to my suite which by the way was too sweet!  After a hot shower in the indoor/outdoor shower, I commenced to unwind, relax and reflect on the totally awesome events of the day.

More picures to follow…

The Sacred Valley


We flew a short 1 hr flight from Lima to Cusco. We were then driven to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We went through several Andean towns, agricultural terraces and many archaeological sites and through the world’s most famous white    Corn fields which is cultivated for export. The snow-capped mountains and the lush green hills were a lovely site to behold. We stopped at Sacsayhuaman (sounds like sexy woman) which is the largest and most impressive of four archaeological ruins. The complex built by the Incas was constructed out of massive stones, some weighing as much as 300 tons cut to fit together without the use of mortar.

We spent 3 nights in the Sacred Valley and each day the group enjoyed full days of touring with a most knowledgeable guide. One day they enjoyed a picnic lunch and were a part of a very special ceremony of sound and traditional offerings of payment to Mother Earth. Taking part in this ritual are many sacred medicines like Palo Santo, Tayta Sayri, Mama Coca, Agua Florida and Condor’s feathers.  The 3 nights in the Sacred Valley  assists in getting acclimated to the high altitude, Cusco being the highest, below it is the Sacred Valley and below that the new 7th wonder of the world, “MACHU PICCHU”.

Some take the 26 mile trek getting to Machu Picchu which takes 3 days but I prefer to get you hard to get to places the most comfortable way.  We fly to Cusco, we take the  Vistadome Train up to Aguas  Calientes then hike up 25 mins. There is by the way  a luxury  train called the Hiram Bingham but for this trip, the Vistadome will do just fine.

Tomorrow: Machu Picchu

Journey To Peru

It’s always best to arrive in your departure city a day ahead because anything can go wrong with your arrival flight being delayed or cancelled. Aside from that, it gives your body an opportunity to rest and relax before embarking on your big adventure.  This tour was departing from Miami and I’m always  happy to be in that city.

Georgene, Lucille, Juanita and myself hopped in an Uber and went to El Chalan Peruvian Restaurant our 1 night in Miami.  My road dawg, fellow foodie Robbie Bell, had a prior engagement so we were on our own.   We received a very warm welcome, had the best mixed seafood appetizer, tried that drink made from boiled purple corn and ordered our own individual main courses.  I chose the Lomo Saltado — mmmm yeah, everything was so good.

There are 15 in the group, we all met up at the American Airlines counter and excitement was in the air.  It, as a lot of KATTRAX Tours was a reunion of sorts.  There was Dr. Alicia Rozario just finishing up her residency –   Congrats!!!  I hadn’t  seen her since 2009 South Africa. Barbara Dorsey, Egypt 2012, Gail Kelly just 2 months ago in Paris, Ron Frazier in Colombia last year, along with son Chris.  Michele Mendez and Kim Burroughs from South Africa 2015 and Barcelona.  We have Regulars Barbara and Melvin Dean, and newcomers Audrey Richards and Brenda Ray. I’m thankful to be so blessed to always have the best travelers on my tours.

It was almost 9p when we landed in Lima.  Our guide was there to meet us with a lit up red and black sign that read KATTRAX Group.  Soon we arrived at the gorgeous 5 Star JW MARRIOTT LIMA.  Everybody was delighted with their rooms– All with spectacular views of the ocean.

Peru has won the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for the last 5 years and yes I was ready to see for myself.  Our first morning was spent with a culinary expert, Marisol.  We were driven to the Mercado (market). She explained and the group tasted over 20 varieties of fruits from the coast, the mountains and the jungle; even coca leaves from one of the country’s biggest illegal exports.  It’s not something they are proud of but it is what it is.  We here on our way up to 11,000 ft above sea level to a new Wonder of the World, MACHU PICCHU, the lost city of the Incas; needed that cocoa tea.  When you drink it at Sea level it speeds you up but when there is very little oxygen so high up one can get very ill because the brain is not getting any oxygen  however, that high up it regulates the oxygen in your blood and the altitude sickness symptoms become lessened. You also must drink at least 3 times the amount of water you normally consume to stay well hydrated.

Lunch was at a new restaurant, LA PICANTERIA, owned by famous Chef, Hector Solis from FIESTA restaurant.  We had 2 communal tables and dined exactly like in a traditional “Picanteria”.  It was truly a feast.

In the afternoon we had a half day guided tour of Lima visiting the historical center, the Plaza and the San Francisco Monastery.  It was a highlight for me. We went down several feet underground to the catacombs (a burial ground until 1808).  It gave insight into how religious life was during Spanish colonial times. An extraordinary fact : The monks arranged the remains  according to bone types resulting in an amazing display of the burial site.  There are over 70,000 bones down there.

In the Cloisters of the Monastery;  the beautiful ornate tiles on the walls cost more than gold.  Why? Because gold was readily available but those tiles could take 25 years to be created and shipped there from Europe.  We had a very full and exciting day. We all look forward to the next episode

Tomorrow: Cusco and The Sacred Valley of the Incas