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London to Lima (Finally!)

PERU | Thursday, 25 September 2008 | Views [1295] | Comments [4]

It was always going to be a slightly surreal experience waking up of a morning knowning that you would not be sleeping in the same continent, never mind the same city for at least 3 seasons.

I was a little apprehensive on the way to the airport - sure because of the normal things but more specifically because the travel agency and the airline had both strongly advised booking an international flight somewhere in South America within 90 days of arrival. The risk was that they would not let us on the plane.

My solution was to arm myself with a print out of the ammendment to Decretivo Legislativo Peruviano numero 1043, which specified the changes in Peruvian immigration law, allowing 183 days for a tourist to remain in the country. Goddam I would give the check-in person the full monty of my knowldge of this stuff if I needed to!

The very ammenable and friendly girl at the desk smiled as she checked us in, in much the same way as many of my friends and family did at various farewell events, internally saying "you bastards - I hate you!". Absolutely no need for any knowledge of Peruvian immigration law, which made me all the more content that I did not shell out for the superfluous flight!

Lovely calm flight to Madrid, followed by an even lovelier and calmer flight to Lima. Claire particularly enjoyed the old school, everyone watches the same movie on the big screen buzz that Iberia do. I have to say I particularly enjoyed Kung Fu Panda.

And so we arrived, as did our baggage and we emerged into the arrivals hall not so fresh faced but in anticipation of the taxi I had pre-arranged. I was expecting some creative bastardisation of my first name, but after the third tour of the 40-odd charachters with random names on scuffed pieces of paper I had to conclude that Edwards was just not close enough to Eoghan to merit a conversation.

Just as I stated dialling the hostel number a tall man jogged into the hall with "Eoghan Kelly" on his board. No room for error. We were sorted.

Or so we thought - I had forgotten how crazy Latin American drivers are. Lima is way way way crazier than anywhere I have been before for traffic. It is a very clear example of darwinian natural selection in automobile format. Or Dodgems for adults, whichever you prefer. 30 minutes, 9 near misses and one "got pushed off the road by a JCB" later, we arrived at out hostel. I tipped the driver purely because we had not invoked the repatriation clause of the insurance.

We met some of our fellow hostelers and I was surprised to find the first conversation of the RTW trip being a discussion on the difference between the imperial and metric measurement systems followed swiftly by the alzheimer giving properties of silver-grey fillings. Time to go bed. Quickly!

Awoke to a scotch misty day which is par for the course apprantley and we decided to walk rather than taxi down to the South American Explorers Lima brach to get a feel for things. 3 hours later and ten incorrect sets of advice in the taxi we discovered that the first advice we asked for (is the the right way to Miraflores) from a traffic policeman no less was categorically wrong. It didnt help that they decided to take all the street signs away and store them all together as if to taunt us! It´s good to learn these things early on.

SA explorers were really helpful and were cool with Claire catching 40 on the couch while I read up on diseases I could catch while in the Amazon and waited for the cocktail evening. Pisco sour is lovely but contains egg white which is hard for Claire (from now on CM) - however she had a blooy omelette for breakfast so she dealt with it! Ironically an English girl at the cocktail party used to live in Fulham last week before moving over to work in Lima. Even more ironic is the fact the she lived in Prothero Road - my home from 2003 to 2005! It really is a small world.

We´re going to leave Lima tomorrow - it´s a bit too big city for us and that´s kinda what we´re trying to get away from. Fishing village here we come!! Although it will probably be a massive port. Who cares - it´s all good!

Tags: city, hostel, peru





In the nicest possible way


  Ciaran Sep 26, 2008 5:06 AM


Que envidia !!!

  Fernando Flores Sep 26, 2008 11:57 PM


Sure as hell beats PRG :)

  Simon Sep 27, 2008 2:07 AM


Just got through all your prose and photos - what a dull place!!!!!!!

  JACK Sep 30, 2008 11:46 PM

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