100,000km and still travelling...

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

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Where I stayed
Hostel del Fraise

Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today we were treated to a bit of a lie in – we got up at 8am and packed our bags again ready for yet another flight, frequent flyer really isn't the word for us anymore, surely we should make the Christmas list. Outside we got in to another tiny taxi to take us to the airport in time for our 11am flight.  We checked our bags in, this time with absolutely no hassle at all, Arequipa airport is a dream, and went to get some breakfast as we were starving.  I had fried egg and bacon and Andrew had an omelette and toast with an empanada on the side (Andrew Edit – the Arequipa Empanada is one of the best yet!).  It was just what we needed and then we went up to the mezzanine floor to sit in the sunshine admiring Volcano Misti which was rather disappointingly but fittingly covered in mist.  We read for a while as we watched other flights come and go and then it was time to board ourselves.  We were flying Star Peru today and the flight was very uneventful except for the ham and cheese sandwich and petit fours that we were served.  Oh my god if I even see another ham and cheese sandwich I will go insane there doesn’t seem to be anything else to go on a sandwich here, unless you are a vegetarian and then I guess it’s just cheese.

We arrived in Lima and were met by the guy from our hostel, Raul, who was extremely friendly and chatty.  Interestingly he had assumed by our appearance that Andrew was Swedish, even having assumed Andrew’s surname was Swedish – well it makes a change from German.  I asked him if I looked English "Yes" came the reply, I left it there not knowing if that was good or bad.  We had organised an airport collection after reading a few horror stories about the surrounding areas of Lima airport (basically armed robbery of a couple of tourists in a taxi) – thankfully after our last visit here, also because the very, very cheap hostel was apparently quite difficult to find.  We got in a taxi and after ten minutes we were walking in to the hostel to meet Victor the other member of staff who sat us down presented us with iced water (out of a bottle Trish don’t worry) and began a 'get to know you’ chat.  They also wanted to know what we had done in Lima – we told them we had been a couple of times before – I think this was more to do with making sure we experienced everything Lima had to offer rather than trying to sell trips.  We finally got to our room after promising to try ceviche (I think the only thing that they suggested that we hadn’t done – well done Renato you obviously gave us a very comprehensive tour).  We were at a bit of a loose end but didn’t want to fork out the taxi fare in to Lima central or Miraflores (we had seen a lot of this on our day tour) so we decided in our wisdom to have a mooch around Callao and go to the shopping centre near to the hostel to have a wander around and some food.  The place was huge and a mixture of market come mall – there were butchers (with all kinds of cuts of meat hanging on hooks including a disturbing chicken with its stomach cut open displaying all its innards – nice).  We left wondering what the things that looked like under ripe cherry tomatoes were.  There was everything else and I think part of it was a outlet mall type thing but with a Chinese supermarket, cinema and amusement arcade. 

We considered watching a film so asked if any of the films were in English or had English subtitles – there was but it was only on in 2 hours so we gave that one a miss.  I bought a new t-shirt after losing my tubing top (damn) somewhere along the line – I have burnt my back a bit in Easter Island despite having factor 30 on – the blight of English skin – so I needed another top to cover it up.  We also bought some more after sun for the same problem – every time I take my jacket off I have peeling skin all over it, gross.  After a bit of banter with one taxi driver (I thought he looked decent as he was old and had a white moustache) who tried to charge us 15 Soles for the return journey (we had paid 7 there) we flagged a taxi down who took us for 8.  Back at the hostel we watched a couple of films on the laptop (which were occasionally disturbed by the barking dogs in a backyard adjacent to ours and strangely the speaker that was in our room (weird) that would intermittently come on and pump out loud music. The hostel was fine though all things considered – it was close to the airport, the guys were lovely and it cost us about 2 pounds a night each.

We were feeling thirsty so wandered downstairs to go to the shop across the road (literally just across the street) but Raul stopped us asking where we were going.  We told him we just wanted something from the shop to which he basically told us we shouldn’t be stepping outside and that they had beers in the freezer that we could buy.  Okay, clearly there were some issues with safety out there – but it had seemed fine when we arrived.  We bought the beers from Raul and finished the films.  It was a fairly early night as we had be at the airport again at 3am for our 6am flight – who said travelling was easy?  We slept well and the speaker didn’t make another sound all night. (Andrew Edit – after hearing a few horror stories about the area surrounding Lima airport I would not recommend anyone do what we did and wander out of the vehicle exit gate trying to flag down cars, this in hindsight was a little silly, if you want cheap taxis walk to the left out of the airport and there is a separate pedestrian gate with some taxis waiting outside, the tales of armed robberies, kidnappings and a guy being repeatable hit in the face by the butt of a gun suggests the area surrounding Lima airport is a bit of a no go area, this is supported by not being allowed to cross the road from our hostel at 9pm).

Oh yes when we logged onto the blog today we noticed we have reached another milestone in our trip, according to travelpod we have now clocked up over 100,000km on our travels, this excludes all the day trips and other bits and bobs.
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