After spending most of the day in our hostel chilling about we decided to head to the airport far too early. There we used our last euros in McDonalds (where they had these awesome games projected on the tables). Waiting for what felt like an eternity, midnight finally arrived and it was time to board our flight. We took a little bit of pleasure in seeing all these Latin women try their luck (and fail) in vastly exceeding their "on board luggage" allowance. Women were carrying what seemed to be another suitcase, a huge handbag and a bag filled with goods. Before boarding though each and every bag was weighed and if it exceeded the 8kg limit or if they had more than 1 bag they were asked to pay €80 at the door. The worst we saw was a woman who had 4 bags (suitcase, plastic bag, laptop bag and handbag) who's suitcase alone weighed 13kg. It's sad but the mini chaos made me feel at home :)
The flight took twelve hours, I thankfully slept but Paul struggled despite being over the moon to see the movie wolverine on the inflight entertainment. Eventually (after a lot of turbulence) we made it to Lima. Once at the airport we saw our names held up by our organised pick up service and were on our way to our hostel. Now our hostel, like most, was located in Miraflores which is the upperclass area of Lima. This was evident as we drove past some dodgy looking areas before arriving to our green haven suburb. Arriving too early for check in we decided to wander the streets, go to the shops for some water and get our bearings.
After check in we headed out into town. First we decided to check out Miraflores. The suburb is very pretty and extremely clean. The council has made a point of keeping the area looking green and pristine. There were cleaners at every turn in the gardens, on the cliff, near the road and in the parks. The area as a result looks spotless! There wasn't much to do as such except walk around the town and get a feel for the city. After going to the coast line and seeing a nice park, looking down at the pebble beach and the surfers catching waves we decided to have lunch at a local restaurant that had a two course menu for $4. After being filled and satisfied we decided to rest for the afternoon as well as organise our bus to cusco and tickets to Machu Picchu (which included a long line at the bank for payment- an unusual system).
That night we headed out again, we went to the city centre where we stopped to have a coffee and just watched people walk by. Later we went to the main square of Miraflores where we saw a group of people dance the night away and also saw a Peruvian folk band play. The evening was nice and relaxing, everyone was having so much fun- the air was filled with the smell of caramelised popcorn. Still full we decided to have a light dinner consisting of sandwiches for me and cup of noddles for Paul.
The next morning we got up and caught a local bus (which was an experience in itself). The bus played Latin music, had a crazy driver and a bus boy who would yell out the next stop out of the bus door. After a 20min ride we arrived in the city centre. There we walked on the main strip, bought some electric power adapters and headed towards the city square. The square has a nice church (where it seemed a priest graduation was taking place) and the parliament house where we would later see the changing of the guards that included a band on horses. We also walked to another park which was celebrating aids awareness day- there were many tents some with free clinics, a live stage with dancers and even life sized walking condoms. After watching the change of guards we caught another local bus (this time it was much harder to find the appropriate bus stop to Miraflores) and chilled at the hostel before our 22hr bus to cusco. Although Lima was nice one night was definitely enough to see the sights.