Much as I love to live in England, however pleased I am that we have four distinct seasons (even if they don’t necessarily come in the order expected) on this miserable January afternoon, I was glad to be heading to summertime somewhere. It didn’t even bother me that our journey this time won’t be exclusively in tropical climes: I didn’t mind packing a mac, and umbrella and a few layers of clothing. It was good to escape!
We both get excited by the swooosh of the huge jets passing overhead as we near the airport and look forward to doing the same ourselves in a while. Those of you who know us will understand we are planners; we like to know what’s what but for the first time this first part of the trip had given my hero cause for concern. We had two different booking references you see. Not only that, but when we went into our BA account, there were double bookings there too. So phone calls have been made, conversations had and varying degrees of reassurance offered that all would be well. The explanation was all to do with code shares. Seems like our flight to Madrid was booked with Iberia but is actually a code share with BA and the Madrid-Lima bit was a similar arrangement with LAN. OK. None of that mattered to us except there was one nightmare scenario: if we failed to use one of those two outbound bookings, the return leg might be cancelled! But we couldn’t see how to check in twice for the same flight….
Thankfully, all was well, even if the supposedly BA service to Madrid turned out to be Iberia. did it matter? Not at all. But this was a long journey and we were only just at the start. Two hours to Madrid, an hour transfer time and then another 11 and a half on a LAN 767 to Lima, departing 0035. We can’t do that kind of thing in economy any more, I’m afraid, so at least we get a comfortable ride with a bit more space and a duvet to sleep under.
We arrived in Lima at 5.40am, almost an hour early and hot footed it to the immigration where our early arrival was causing problems. The passenger manifest had not yet been uploaded to the passport control system yet and the baggage handlers didn’t seem to be ready either. We watched as almost everyone collected their bags and feared the worst for ours.
The traffic is crazy here and we were glad to be taken care of! But best of all were those magic words we heard as we checked into our hotel at 7.30am – your room is ready now.
Not only that, there’s a spectacular view of the ocean and the day is warming up nicely already.
I know Lesley is concerned for the travelling companions, so here’s reassurance that they are doing fine!
They made a bee line for the comfy bed to begin with but soon changed their minds when they spotted the perfect place to spend the day.
Having showered and changed, we’re going off in search of an Inca site and will find a bit of fun along the way, I’m sure. We have a recommendation for supper tonight where we can eat some of the favourite Peruvian dishes we learned to cook a couple of years ago, because once we leave Lima tomorrow, there’ll be fewer opportunities to eat local.
I must say, from the minute we arrived, we remembered how much we love Peru! The slightly formal, rather officious immigration officer whose facial features place him and his forebears absolutely in this place, smiled and nodded when I thanked him for squeezing the entry stamp into a small space in my passport rather than slap bang in the middle of an empty page. He grinned and nodded – “welcome”.
It’s so good to be back!