Back on a ´ High´!
Hola Amigos y Amigas!
As I type away, I find myself on yet another high in the town of Huaraz, situated at an altitude of 3100 meters above sea level. Global warming and sea level change will not have the same effects here as I suspect they may do in a town such as Kings Lynn.
My flight back to Peru from England, proved almost as hellish as the journey before, with a flight delay in London meaning I had 30 minutes to catch my connecting flight.
I very rudely barged my way through the mob of tourists at Atlanta in a hope that I may actually catch the flight. I aswell as the air stuardesses thought it possible until I suddenly caught sight of the immense mass of travelers lining up at customs. I tried explaining very politely to a very abrupt and rude official that I didn´t have much time, but I was simply ordered in a broad Georgia accent to join the rest of the queue. With only 7 members of staff trying to handle the offloading of what must have been 800 passengers from various flights, my time in the queue exceeded 1 hour and I soon gave up all hope of catching my flight. Like the homeward journey I did become concerned for the welfare of my backpack, which had been ticketed all the way to Lima and would be put on the flight that I had just missed. As you may imagine, I was rather tired and fustrated and the only highlight I can mention was seeing The Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver and his wife on the other side of the customs hall. Things were far from Pucka though!
After proceeding with all of the necessary nonsense required to enter the promised land, I briskly walked to the baggage carousel to find out if my bag would have traveled on to Lima. I was relieved to find out that it would not be loaded until the owner of the bag entered the aircraft. I eventually made it to the Delter Airlines help desk, over an hour after my flight should have left American Soil. I asked about catching a later flight, but was pleasantly suprised to learn that the plane to Lima was still on the ground and would be leaving in 10 minutes. If I ran at a speed, Michael Johnson would be proud of, then i would just make it.
Typically the gate was as far away as was possible and so I sprinted all of the way, overtaking other runners and with a terminal wind in my hair. I just made it and with sweat pouring off of my forehead, took my seat.
The 7 hour flight was possibly the worst I have experienced yet, with some bad turbulence near Florida and Central America. Although very tired, I was very relieved to arrive on Peruvian soil.
On arrival it took less than half an hour to collect my backpack and clear customs. Such a pleasant contrast to the US. Once again I lowered my head and pushed my way through the touts to leave the ´two week´ holiday makers to be consumed by the mob. I soon found a nice young man named Luis, who offered to take me to the Miraflores district of Lima for a price of 26 soles (4 quid). Not bad for a 45 min taxi ride.
Soon we were on our way and with Salsa music once again blaring from the knackered radio, chatted away as best we could. I took a shine to Luis and all was well until we took to the main road hugging the Pacific Coastline. With the windows down the warm sea air flooded in until Luis suddenly pulled over and cut the engine. At once all I could hear were the huge 6 foot breakers crashing onto the stony beach, taking the pebbles with them as they retreated back into the darkness. There were no other cars using the road, expected i suppose considering it was 1am. I wasn´t too alarmed at this point as Luis pulled out some paper and said he was writing me a receipt. i actuallt thought it was good business sense, until I was handed a piece of paper with a bill of 26 dollars, not soles. I calmly told Luis he had made a mistake, something he didn´t take a shine to and with that he climbed out of his seat and walked around the back of the car torwards my door. I suddenly became a little alarmed, even more so when he opened the door and I saw a knife in his pocket. He explained that I either pay him the 26 dollars or we step outside. Fully intending to see my 24th Birthday, I realised that I was powerless in this situation. I would have walked, had I have known where I was and was in a city a little safer than Lima. Thoroughly p*ssed off i paid the conman his money and seriously felt like using Luis to test the rules of Gravity on Miraflores Cliff.
I didnt have the energy and so collapsed into a comfy bed at the Flying Dog Hostel at around 2am. The next day I woke after a boken sleep and checked into the larger dorm. I met my room mates and soon headed into town with a chap frpm Brum, an irish lad named Seamus and a typical cool dude from OZ. Spent most of the afternoon laid out in the park, before treating ourselves to the odd beer or two at a pretty cool bar. Made full use of the dart board on on offer playing such games as Round The Clock and Killer. I was killed on several occasions. I left the other guys at around 11pm, when they headed to a club to meet some of the local gals. Too tired to even talk I decided to call it a day and got a decent nights sleep, in preparation for the 8 hour bus jouney up to Huaraz.
Well that shall be all for now- next post will tell you what i have been up to since arriving back ´home´.