First contact with Latin America – landing in Lima

Amsterdam – Lima was our second 13-hour flight in 5 days. Lots of entertainment on board so we took it quite well, but when we landed in Lima at 6pm we could not deny how fatigued we actually were. We were supposed to stay with a friends’ friend but that arrangement fell just one day before; then we were supposed to be picked up from the airport by someone, but that didn’t fly either, so we found ourselves in Lima with nothing but our Visa cards and a Lonely Planet. And, as usual, our smiles and faith. Which, if you come to think about it, is pretty much all one needs :).

To make things even more fun, there was another surprise waiting for us upon arrival. After waiting patiently at the baggage pick-up till the last of the baggages was found by it’s owner, we realised Boca’s backpack had not come to Lima on the same flight as us. There was a message saying that it will be coming on the same flight tomorrow, but that was not of much comfort as we were supposed to be flying to Cusco the next day in the morning, and from there continue the 7 day journey that actually brought us to Latin America in the first place.

It was fun communicating this to the officer, and after he assured us he’d send the luggage to Cusco as soon as it arrives, we were finally ready to leave the airport. We got some Soles (the local money), opened the LP, found a taxi driver who asked for 15USD instead of 20, and off we were. It was clear from the beginning that he had no clue where the address we showed him was, but when he said “Buscamos” (we will look for it!) we went ahead with it!

On the way to the hostel a few things amazed me, from the gas tank the driver had in his trunk, to the Jesus and Mary statues and paintings that appeared everywhere on the road side, to the loud Spanish music blasting in most cars, to how the moment we entered Lima he instructed us to lock our doors, to how he clearly had no clue where he was going but he never gave up, asking left and right, to how when some James Blunt or another American song came on the radio he was not entertained at all and changed to some Spanish song right away, to how when we finally realised where the place was, he told us it was not safe at all and we should not go there…

Things got arranged beautifully in the end, when we indicated another place we saw in the LP, a family guest house that we found right away. The hosts were warm and helpful, and we were so grateful for the hot shower and cosy beds. We definitely recommed the place if you just need some quietness: Familia Rodriguez, No 3 Nicolas de Prierula 730 (the price per night is 9USD and it includes breakfast).

Early next morning we were in the airport again, ready to board the flight to our final destination – Cusco.

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