The Flying Dirty Mongrel

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Once again the Lonely Plant balls things up with some ridiculously poor information regarding our original choice of hostel.  We've attempted sleep while on the road with mixed results, me sparking out and Paddy managing three hours.  Regardless whether we slept or not, we were still on a bus, so not in the mood to faff around when the hostess bids us good morning against my devil breath and crumbly eyes.  We have a hasty re-think and opt for what seems to be a more tranquil option called The Flying Dog.

There are four Flying Dog hostels in Lima, and we have plumbed for what we think is the nicest, cleanest and most chilled.  Whether the taxi driver has dropped us at the wrong one, or the LP is just totally inaccurate (likely) we're not sure, but we find ourselves in an absolute hole of a place, devoid of girls, overflowing with oddballs and old men, and totally filthy.  We make a conscious decision to move on swiftly.

After an 8 hour overnight journey though nobody is in the mood to heave bags around hoping for something better.  In spite of the crazy white-haired old German guys in our room talking about "doing someone in the ass", and a staff consisting of a bunch of lazy no-notions, we dump the luggage and brave it for a night.  The guy behind the desk has no clue what there is to do in the area, nor can he tell us where a well known street is just a couple of blocks away.  Spending as much time as possible out of the hostel seems to be the best solution.

Lima's old town is about 30 minutes away in a cab, demonstrating just how huge this city is.  Over 1/4 of Peru's entire population reside in it's capital, a staggering ten million souls.  Faces whip by as the taxi weaves through traffic giving a daunting view from the passenger seat.  I'd lose my mind in a place like this; it's just too damn big.

The city is of course not without it's problems, borne mainly from earthquakes ruining infrastructure which leads to poverty and petty crime.  There are many no-go areas after dark and indeed during the day, but many are pictures of European capital city beauty in the morning sunshine.  You could be in Barcelona, Paris, Prague or even London with the grandeur of open squares, fountains and governmental buildings.  Cafes deck walkways with chair and table, which I always think is what makes a city.  There is nothing better than lazing in the golden sun watching the world go by and Barcelona beating Chelsea.  Except the last part didn't happen.  With the favourites dumped out of the champions league, the streets exude a sombre mood as we indulge in a spot of shopping

Dear Peru; please can you make stickers of your country flag for my guitar.  I've had no trouble so far peppering it with the places I've been, but try as I might I cannot find one single shop selling what I want.  Plenty of Llama stickers, none with a flag.  Please begin mass production asap.

Our planned visit to an illuminated fountain show is dashed as it only opens Wednesday to Sunday.  By this time it's getting late, which unfortunately means we have to return to our filthy hostel.  One Hostelworld comment mentions the rooms stinking of cat piss, and it's not too far from the truth.  Thank fully the long walk today and a dodgy bus sleep ensures we crash out early, and only vaguely stir when two drunk Germans return from banging prostitutes.  The only things this place is missing is a flickering neon light and a dead hooker.  The night is yet young. 

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