In Search of Paddington Bear.
Buenos Tardes Amigos/Amigas
As you should have gethered from my last post and the very title of this post,myself and my backpack have arrived in the Peruvian Capital city of Lima.
I touched down at 6:55 pm Peru time and managed to collect my luggage and get myself out of the airport building by 7:50pm. I was instantly consumd by the mob of taxi drivers eagily waiting to secure the custom of fresh faced and naive tourists. As I reached the door I lowered my head and pushed my way up the road where cheaper taxis would be waiting. In the space of 100 metres I managed to secure a ride to my hostel or 30 soles (10 $ ) rather than the 25$ they were charging at the door.
I slung my pack into the back and then clambered into the back seat minus seat belts. I felt like I was back in India again for a minute! I soon discovered that the method of driving is very similar to that of Lizzies Crown too, with the horn proving to be the most used piece of kit. The brakes were only used when essential. For 40 minutes we swerved through congested streets before our battered car took off along an empty road hugging the Pacific coast. Windows down,the wind flooded through,but it was great! Highlight would be my driver Jorge accelerating into a switchback turn. Hair-raising isn´t the word!
Eventually we made it to Miraflores District,what you could call the Kensington of Lima. I had heard mixed stories of how dangerous central Lima could be after dark and didn´t want to take any risks,especially not on the first night!
I got dropped at the door of Flying Dog backpackers,home for the next two/three days,but had to wait outside as Jorge went off to get some change.
Eventually I checked in to the dorm and soon got chatting to its other residents. Had a quick shower and then headed out with Sebastian, a 25 year old Dutch guy who spoke fluent Spanish. This proved very useful as at present i am resorting to speaking English very slowly in a vain attempt that someone may actually understand me- they didn´t!
As we walked across the park we were stopped by two middle aged me who wanted to talk. We were happy to oblige until they topped off the conversiation by asking us if we wanted weed. Despite the fact that prison may offer a good way of getting close contact with the locals,free food and lodgings, we briskly walked off.
Soon we disovered a walkway completely made up of restaurants and bars. It all seemed very touristy,but soon we were beckoned into a pizza joint by a very pretty girl with good English. We ordered our pizza and a beer and enjoyed the evening. Soon touts started doing their rounds and Sebastain purchased a red rose for the waitress. I made do with a bearded guitarist who serenaded us both with Latin tunes.
After such a long day were both retired to the dorm and fell asleep by 11pm. I certainly needed it!
Today after spending the morning loafing about the hostel,doing very little,myself and Seb took a walk down to the Sea Front, which is about a 15 minute walk. En-route we stopped at a traditional Peruvian restaurant and enjoyed a three course dinner for 10 soles (2 quid ). Dinner consisted of soup,beef and a jelly for sweet. We also received a drink made from sweet corn. It was actually quite nice considering i don´t like sweet corn.
Eventually we made it to the Pacific and spent most of the afternoon horizontal on the sand watching the surfers take on the chocolately brown waves, aswell as the many tanned ladies at every turn. The people are beautiful here. Certainly like the fact that I have another three months in Peru. The sun came out today and pushed temperatures into the mid 20s. Hard to believe I was in cold old England only 48 hours ago-How amazing air transport is ey?
So Miraflores is a very nice suburb and certainly feels very safe when traveling about. Its very green and the steets are cleaner than those of London.
Tomorrow I hope to head into Central Lima,before purchasing a bus ticket up to Huaraz. I hope to make the 8 hour journey on 10th March,which means I shall be settled and getting ready to commence teaching in the next few days. I am both very nervous and excited too. A girl today spoke very highly of Huaraz,so I shouldn´t have anything to worry about.
Well this mail is getting rather long so i better wind it up now. Should be off into town tonight for a drink or two. I´ll be sure to update you again when i get to Huaraz. By then i shall be living with a Peruvian family. I´ll tell you all about it then.
Until then stay safe.