The time finally came for me to join Pranav on our South American adventure...
After an epic journey starting with my cruel abandonment at Heathrow airport at 1am [despite the fact that the flight wasn't until 7.25... only joking dad..!], I finally arrived in Lima a bit worse for wear but high on life. Fortunately I made friends with a couple of other 'gappies' on the plane, Matt and Dave - so the 12 hour flight didn't seem quite so painful, especially when mixed with ear plugs and complimentary food and drink =]
Pranav met me in the airport with a hand made sign which although didn't actually mention my name, was still a nice thought..! He was a bit shocked at my ability to bring so much stuff... I can literally clothe and probably provide medical treatment for a whole village with all the goodies I have stashed away. But at least I'm not going without! I was pleasantly suprised if not a little shocked at pranavs sudden transformation into a local in just 2 weeks... with his practically flawess 'banter' with the locals at the airport I knew I would probably pick up on the language quite fast..! I was impressed anyway.
We got a notorious taxi to the Miraflores Guest House, which although was really nice, wasn't the stereotypical backpackers hostel that you might expect. It was mainly middle aged couples, and in our room we had a tv with MTV, fun times. The people were so nice though and made us feel really welcome. The showers were freeezing though, I mastered the art of washing my hair in approximately 1 minute. Definetely I skill I should hold onto for the future.
The next day we had planned to meet matt and dave from the plane and decided the day before with them at the airport that the 'macdonalds on the roundabout' would be a good option. We were waiting there for ages before coming to terms with the realistion that we had in effect been stood up. A bit disheartened we made our way back to the hostel and in a moment of sheer genius decided to google the macdonalds restaurant locator. We were shocked to discover that there were in fact 10 macdonalds restaurants in Lima [just one city]... crazy. That's basically more than in the Midlands. Thanks to the wonders of facebook we got back in touch with matt and dave and arranged a successful rendevous the following day. [as it turned out, they were also waiting for ages by a different macdonalds and also thought they had been abandoned.] what a misunderstanding.
We got up to a whole range of different things in Lima including visiting the local markets, exploring the area a bit more [the ugly dirt mound actually turned out to be a sight of historical interest,] went to some smaller restaurants and even went to the cinema. All in all it was a great first port of call as it wasn't too crazy, neither was it too cold... apparently just the calm of the storm so I am told...