Leather handicraft straight from the workshop on four wheels

Wandering through Iberian lands

Peru – Day 1 & 2

31/10/2021 11:50 AM

It is 5:30 in the morning and the sun is already up but since we went to sleep at 8:00 pm, we are already on our feet. It was the first time for both of us that we traveled so far, so the jetlag phenomenon, which was known to us only in theory, gives us a bit of a burn. On the other hand, the sun goes down at 6 p.m. so we plan to get used to getting up at 5 to make the most of the thirteen-hour days.

Let me start from the beginning, that is, from the the day of the departure. The day before, we were very stressed because it turned out that in the laboratory where we were to perform the PCR test, did not have our appointment in the system, and then our paid baggage did not appear on the boarding passes. However, everything turned out to be a success and we managed to board a huge plane (it could hold almost 500 people) without any major problems. Although we were kind of defeated by the airport in Madrid – we have probably never been to such a large airport, where you go to one of the terminals (of course, to ours) by an underground train. We arrived 2.5 hours before departure and we had literally the exact amount of time to get on board. The flight itself passed very quickly and pleasantly. Iberia airlines provide lunch and two snacks, plus unlimited access to drinks. During 11.5 hours I read the book about the serial killer of bakcpackers in Asia (probably not the best choice given the nature of our trip, but I still recommend – “The Life and Crimes of Charles Sobhraj”) and watched three not-so-good movies. In Peru, you have to wear two masks in public places, which is extremely annoying.

The check-in process went smoothly, although the customs officer asked me about everything, he checked the ticket to leave the country (in our case, the bus to Bolivia for December) and the address where we were going to stop in Lima. Later a tracking dog approached me, because it sensed … mandarins and fruit is not allowed to be brought to Peru. They literally threw us out of the airport because due to COVID you can’t stay inside for too long and that’s when it all got super complicated because we didn’t have internet and we lost access to wifi at the airport so we just tried to get somehow to the center of the city of Lima which has a population of almost 10 million people (its big).

Remember to never take a Taxi from the airport itself because they will charge you up to 4 times more than they should. As it was already after 6 p.m., we had to leave the airport to look for a bus (in non-covid times and at earlier times, you can catch something at the airport). For 3 soles per person (less than a dollar), we drove the so-called “colectivo” (mini buses and vans playing the role of public transport – very cheap) towards the center. It was an amazing adventure because these buses, when they arrive at a stop, do not even stop, the passengers jump literally on the run, then it drives with the door open, and drivers in Lima are a hundred times worse than those in Naples. We found ourselves on a street full of underdressed street girls and we couldn’t catch another bus, so from there we took a Taxi to the Miraflores district, because I remembered that there were a lot of hostels there, and to the cheaper district, Barranco, no one wanted to take us (even a taxi). Miraflores is more of a touristic district with a whole host of multi-star hotels, but we managed to find a hostel, which was a miracle on a Halloween weekend in the capital. It was not cheap (120 soles or $ 30 – exactly what we paid for a night in Madrid and we expected it to be cheaper in Peru) but finally we were able to relax a bit.

We went to sleep at midnight but for us it was Spanish 7am so we were really exhausted and we managed to sleep for maybe 3-4 hours. We decided to leave Lima as soon as possible because we were scared by its enormity, the number of cars, people and noise. Even I (and I love sightseeing) didn’t want to walk around the monuments. We decided to go south and here again a pleasant surprise with the prices of transport – for 6 sols (1.5 $) per person we traveled 35 km and got to the surfing town, currently a bit deserted, Punta Hermosa. We chose this place because we managed to find relatively cheap accommodation in the morning – for 70 sols ($ 17.5) per room. We are just recharging the batteries before the trip. Today I am planning the first swim in the ocean if we decide to stay and not move further south, this time to Paracas.