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Published: January 29th 2012
First day in Lima after a long day of travelling. Sitting outside in the hotel forecourt having breakfast, fresh fruit, orange juice, rolls, fried eggs. A good start to the day needed as tired, a bit jet lagged after a long journey. Aah well, it is a means to an end and have a few days for the brain to get round to the fact that breakfast at 8.00 am is not the middle of the afternoon and waking up at 2.00 am in Let us get to work mode and then not getting back to sleep for 2 hours is not sensible.
Amsterdam airport was a 4 hour stopover with not enough time for a city tour or to do anything sensible so had to be a wander round the shops to look at things we did not need and did not want and to find the Dutch pancakes for breakfast..... and good they were too!
Nothing of interest on the 12 hour flight, in a row of 3, just the usual game of waiting for the person at the end to fall asleep and then us both deciding we needed to go to the loo. Unfortunately, not enough space to leap over the sleeper so lots of nudging to wake them up.... There she was having a nice dream and all of a sudden.....
Lima airport and taxi to the hotel was undramatic. It just, so far, seems like a large European or Spanish city. We have not stepped outside the hotel yet so will wait and see.
I expected a greater sense of 'foreignness' as soon as we reached the airport, like you do getting off a plane in Asia. It was somehow comforting to view the arrival hall through the glass of the Customs booth to see what looked precisely like Lanzarote Airport = same shop same smells, etc. after travelling half-way round the world. Prior to travel and through our hotel, we opted for a pre-booked taxi from the airport to the hotel. Makes life easier after a long flight. Driving down the wide boulevards, traffic didnt seem frenetic, erratic or particularly bad. Again, something I expected. Lima seems to be a juxtaposition of Florida, Nevada - loads of glitzy casinos - and any large Spanish city. Where would the world be without Starbucks, TGI Fridays, McDonalds, smart electronic shops and large car showrooms.
Safety advice from the hotel 'When taking a taxi - always check the back of hatchbacks to see if they have a natural gas tank in the rear. If they do, do not take it as rear end shunts can be quite explosive! Also, try to get a middle-aged driver that looks relatively well-kempt!' Aah well - alternative employment prospects for me dont look very hopeful in that area..... Ill have to keep looking.
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