Oakland Tourists in Peru Call Family

Garrett Hand's mom received a call from him Wednesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An adventurous Oakland couple who had been out of contact with family members for a month - and believed to be missing - were heard from on Tuesday in Peru.

    An adventurous Oakland couple who had been out of contact with family members for a month -  and believed to be missing - finally called home Wednesday to tell their families they are fine.

    Garrett Hand and Jamie Neal, both 25, were unaware they were the subject of a search until Tuesday when they when government officials found them aboard a small-moving vessel on the Napo River on their way to Ecuador.

    East Bay Couple on Bike Trip Missing in Peru

    [BAY] East Bay Couple on Bike Trip Missing in Peru
    Family and friends of a missing Oakland couple bicycling through South America are frantically looking for the couple, who usually stay connected overseas through computers and social media. NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez reports.

    Hand called his Mom around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

    He also update his Facebook page. He added the words "I am alive" to his timeline.

    Family Frantic: East Bay Couple on Bike Trip Missing in Peru

    [BAY] Family Frantic: East Bay Couple on Bike Trip Missing in Peru
    Family and friends of a missing Oakland couple bicycling through South America are frantically looking for the couple, who usually stay connected overseas through computers and social media. Jamie Neal, 27, and her boyfriend Garrett Hand, 25, were last seen in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 26. Christie Smith spoke to Hand's mother, Francine Fitzgerald.

    Neal also updated her Facebook page saying, "I'm sorry if you have been worried.. we've been traveling through the Amazon and the villages do not have electricity let alone internet or phones."

    The two said they are now stuck on a military base in Pantoja, Peru.  They are apparently quite famous in the South American country as news of their "lost" status spread.

    Bike Shop Owner Worried About Couple Missing in Peru

    [BAY] Bike Shop Owner Worried About Couple Missing in Peru
    Jeff Jerge, owner of the Peddlar Bike shop in El Sobrante, is worried about Jamie Neal, 27, and her boyfriend Garrett Hand, 25, were last seen in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 26. Jodi Hernandez reports.

    The two said they are waiting for a friend to come down the same river and hoped he would have their bikes and luggage.

    One of the Facebook messages read "This is f---ing insane." Neal said a tourist ambassador of Peru was flying in to meet them tomorrow "to interview us and bring us gifts."

    The avid cyclists left for South America at the end of November and regularly chronicled their journey through Facebook, but the updates stopped on Jan. 25, along with any financial activity on the couple’s bank accounts and credit cards.

    The couple was unaware of the search effort, which picked up steam over late last week when family members took to social media to generate awareness and help. The family set up a Facebook page called Missing in Peru Garrett Hand and Jamie Neal.

    On Feb. 13, the U.S. Embassy in Lima warned Americans of a potential kidnapping threat by an unnamed criminal organization in the Cusco area. The embassy reported the threat to be "credible at least through the end of February."