Loving the lights of Lima

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

We woke up feeling absolutely knackered when the tent heated up to unbearable standards, we had a shower to rid ourselves of the smells of camping from 4 or 5 days and mostly to try and wash the ants out of every orifice, we seemed to be the only tent where the ants set up a nest, we don't know how but there were hundreds that set up camp with us in one corner of the canvas. We felt them crawling all over us every night and in the shower Erica found a dead ones in her ear she must have killed during the night. We still had quite a lot left to do on the internet but the blog was soon up to date and for once we had a breako again, it was fabulous, we had a piece of bread with tomato pasta sauce (40p from the shop). We were soon loading up the quad and saying goodbye to our campers and the campsite owners who watched with much amusement as we opted to load all our bags onto the quad instead of getting a lift with them. It was a bit of a tight squeeze to say the least and of course we forgot that something was happening with the hotel next door (we don’t know what) but it constantly had about 40 policemen and army men around it and people seemed to be barricaded in, we aren’t sure if they were protecting the building, the people in the compound or us from the people in the compound. Anyway I think we were quite lucky not to get pulled when we drove past with two people and four bags.

Of course any sensible people would go to the airport, we decided to take a tour around town looking for the Easter Island jail. I have no idea how big or how many inmates a jail on Easter Island can have, but apparently the inmates make the souvenirs bought by the tourists so we figured we might be able to get some cheap Moai statues. We drove around for about 40 minutes around all the areas where the jail is supposed to be but bizarrely couldn’t find it. It was definitely time to head to the airport though so we finally arrived to a lot of people watching us arrive dumping the bike and the helmets before walking into the airport (and as we had been told to do leave the key in the ignition). After a bit of niceness to the check in lady she gave us the emergency exit seats and so we got through security (still with Erica’s wrong surname) and sat back at the only gate in the airport. The plane arrived and it was great to see the bands playing and the flower garlands in full force again.

We boarded the flight and couldn’t wait to get stuck into the free drink and have something different from pasta to eat – unfortunately for Erica it was either pasta or salmon so there was no change for her. After takeoff we were soon on the red wine, followed by another few red wines watching the films (I watched Wall Street 2 and The Switch, Erica watched Eat Pray Love and The Switch). I asked for a small whiskey to stop the red wine wearing off and got a huge, huge, huge measure. This pushed me over the edge, I was drunk and ready to drink more while it was free. Much to Erica’s annoyance I kept bouncing down to the back of the plane and returning with more and more booze. Some more wine with my Salmon and I had got a little carried away, forcing Erica to start bobbing down to the back as well just for drinks for me.

We eventually landed in Lima and I got through a very crowded immigration with a black tongue and black lips from the red wine. We collected the luggage and bowled out to try our arm at getting into town without being ripped off, which at Lima Airport is notoriously difficult. After about an hour we had tried every taxi, the prices ranged from 100 soles to 50 soles, one guy gave us a price of 30 soles but he was a young skinhead whom neither of us trusted and he was introduced to us by another scally, he wasn’t parked with the taxi drivers just right at the back of the public car park.

We decided to try something that I would normally say is a bit stupid, we walked out of the airport and out to the motorway and started trying to flag cars down, after about 10 minutes an old guy stopped and quoted us 20 soles to our hotel downtown. We were happy with him and had absolutely no problems whatsoever (bar finding our hotel). We dumped our bags quickly checked the e-mails then headed out to the park of the fountains one of the highlights of Lima and something that cost an absolute fortune to build. I don’t think the pictures really do it justice because we absolutely loved it. It is just as it sounds a park with lots of fountains that are lit up at night, there are fountains you stand in, fountains you get drenched in, fountains you walk through arches of water, and all with great lights to complement the water. I ended up in one of the get wet ones with loads of kids, yes I got wet and I wasn’t quite happy about how it smelled, it smelled of wee, then again I suppose I probably do normally.

The highlight of the fountains though was a performance at the biggest of the fountains, it is basically a water and light show to music, which competes with those in Las Vegas if you ask me. There are ballerina’s projected into the spray dancing to music, flowers and local dancing, along with the usual laser show etc. It really was very, very good and all for a price of about 2 each. I was sober by now and wandering the streets of Lima we decided not to go out on the drink and to pop for a bite to eat. The Lima favourite of chicken and chips was cheap and easy so we did that and were amazed at how much we got for 2 each. We headed back to the hotel and it must have been about 23:30 we had to be up at 05:00 for perhaps the cheapest flight of the trip, 15 each for a return to Arequipa, surely this had disaster written all over it. Also our hotel was lovely, not a hostel or campsite in sight we were in the Continental Hotel, about 15 so comparable with some of the hostels, it was a 3* I think and had towels, shampoo and (clean) toilet roll (Erica edit – can I just add here that I have been using clean toilet roll throughout the whole trip so I have no idea what Andrew has been using), we could get used to this.
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