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US couple thought missing in Peru return after trek

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

An American couple who went missing for more than a month in Peru have returned after a trek through rural forests and indigenous communities, they said at a press conference Friday.

Cycling enthusiasts Garret Hand, 25, and Jamie Neal, 27 went missing on January 25 after setting off on a cycling trip from Cusco to Lima. Family members grew worried when the two stopped posting updates on Facebook.

News of the couple's disappearance raised alarm as it came just two weeks after the US embassy warned tourists of a "credible" threat that kidnappers could target Americans around the legendary Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Peruvian police said earlier this week that the two appeared to be on a 15-day river boat trip to Ecuador, and the couple resurfaced on Facebook on Thursday, writing that they were safe and sound at a Peruvian military base.

"I'm sorry if you have been worried... We've been traveling though the Amazon and the villages do not have electricity, let alone Internet or phones," Neal wrote on her Facebook page.

"We are now stuck on a military base in Pantoja, Peru... Everyone is interviewing us and taking photos... saying that we are now famous in Peru."

The two appeared at a press conference Friday, saying they had an amazing trip and would encourage family members to visit Peru.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130301/us-couple-thought-missing-peru-return-after-trek