Luxury in Lima...almost

Trip Start May 23, 2010
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Trip End Aug 31, 2010


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Where I stayed
HQ Villa

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Friday, July 2, 2010

You'd have thought that we would be used to these early starts by now...but apparently not, as 1 July saw a very zombie like Team Hunt stagger out of bed and manage to get itself to the airport on time for 4.45am. Not a pretty sight. By the time we landed in Lima, Peru, we’d had some caffeine and were on our way to being back to normal (...no comments, please).The city was shrouded in fog (which apparently lasts for 8 months of the year... - and we thought the English winter was long!!) and was relatively cold (compared to what we have been used to). I was even colder than usual as I had left my hoodie in the Galapagos airport. Not clever. Though things brightened up considerably when I realised it was a fabulous excuse for a spot of retail therapy! (...as if I ever need an excuse...).

First impressions of Lima was that everyone we’d spoken to was right - this was not a place to stay. The taxi from the airport showed the less scenic side of Lima. 'A complete dump’ would be a kind and accurate description - it makes Aldershot (or for the Kent posse, Chatham) look like the Beverly Hills of each of Hampshire and Kent. This time, however, the hostel booking was left to moi, and so naturally half an hour later our taxi deposited us on a street slap bang in the middle of Miraflores/San Isidro - the Chelsea/Kings Road area of Lima.Oh yes - my antennae are still on top form!

Okay...so this was not really the ‘proper’ Lima, but for the next couple of days we were able to relax at normal altitude (in Quito we were permanently feeling out of breath and thoroughly unfit due to being so high up...) and have some home comforts (private bathroom, hot showers, comfy bed, nice shops near by etc.). To celebrate this new found luxury we had lunch at TGI Fridays (honestly...it was the cheapest place we could find!) and then went to the cinema to see the new Matt Damon film ‘Green Zone’ in the evening (the budget even managed to stretch to popcorn!). The hostel was lovely - a nice change from the last two places where you either had American students throwing up in the shared bathrooms (a classy bunch of people) or Americans coming in at all hours shouting right outside our room. (...Am I sounding old and grumpy??...must be catching from Andy ;o)...)

Anyways, it was thus a complete surprise when Andy and I found ourselves actually wishing we had more time here. The day was both lovely and frustrating. Frustrating because we spent so long searching for a new hoodie for me with no success until right at the end of the day when I found a fab fleece in a shop yards from our hostel - typical! Other than that we managed to explore a lot of the city. Getting into the centre was both easy and free - always a good start. We also discovered that when football is on no-one in Lima works, they all instead head to the main plaza and watch it on a huge screen. Hundreds of people were there watching it...something you definitely would not see in Canary Wharf at 3pm!!  


The day ended with us discovering the local beverage - a Pisco Sour - some alcoholic spirit which they mix with lime, sugar and egg whites. Seriously...it rivals Mojitos, which, coming from a Mojito fan such as me, is quite something! (...Girls...I’ll try to bring a bottle back so you can try it...). It was also rather strong, which probably contributed to the warm, fuzzy feeling Andy and I had when we bade our farewells to Lima.

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