As you can probably tell from the distinct lack of exclamation marks (apart from the one above), this is not Patricia speaking. I´m afraid Patricia isn´t available at the moment, having lost interest in blogging, claiming (in her words) that she´d rather "dance than blog". So, while she does an interpretive dance about eating street food in the corner, I´ll let you know how it´s been for me so far. It´s James, by they way.
My journey began in a typically upbeat fashion. Having had around three hours sleep the night before, I was looking forward to sleeping on the flight, only to find my flight had been cancelled because of mechanical problems. So began my queueing marathon - firstly three hours to change my reservations, where the hard-faced woman behind the counter told me that a flight would be leaving at about 1pm that day to New York, then another hour in order to wave goodbye to my rucksack, then finally an hour at the gate, being told at the end that the flight was full and I wouldn´t be able to get on a flight until the next day. And then two hours for hotel vouchers and four hours to not have my bags returned to me by the short staffed baggage handlers. So I spent my first night of ´proper´travelling in a cramped hotel room, listening to the thump of music at a nearby Hindu wedding reception.
I managed to get on the flight the next day. However, reader, I won´t bore you with the details of a boring flight, and boring stopover in Miami. Do you remember when I mentioned that I "waved goodbye to my rucksack"? Well, that took on a new significance at Lima airport at 4.30am when I discovered that AA had lost my bag and I was left to file a complaint about it entirely in Spanish, which went a little beyond my vocabulary of ´cerveza´, ´baño´and ´puta de madre´...(although the last phrase came in useful at a couple of points...)
Anyway, enough of these problems. My first impression of Lima was the weather; I always expected everything in South America to be dramatic, so was a bit taken aback when I came out to feel limp drizzle on my face, not unlike the kind in London on a Wednesday afternoon in November. Despite the flaccid weather, it was an interesting taxi drive through the less salubrious districts of Lima, watching the dilapidated buses go by and shadowy groups of men assembling on the street corners...
So here we are, at the uniquely named´Flying Dog´Hostel in Miraflores (the posh part of Lima that resembles a large building site...). Our room overlooks a small park, dotted with palm trees, and with a rather grandiose colonial style church adjacent to it. However, the traffic outside is probably the most entertaining thing to look at. Peruvians appear to have a rather unique approach to driving, particularly in terms of how aware they are of other cars and pedestrians, so it´s always fascinating to watch the considerable amount of near-fatal misses that take place in any given ten minutes at the junction below our window.
Anyway, the other travellers are becoming irate at me hogging the only computer in the hostel. So I better sign out before someone throws something at me or makes me drink a pisco sour...
See you all soon,
James (and Patricia)