C - We have finally arrived in South America. Of course nothing is ever straight forward. Our flight from NZ to L.A was delayed making us miss our connection to Lima. We would of made the flight if we were going via any other Country but of course - being America - we had to pass through about 20 security checks including having our fingerprints and photos taken and stopping to fill out plenty of forms and pass immigration - all just to get on a transfer flight. In all other airports im sure we have just got off the plane and gone to the transfer area not having to technically enter the country. Then while waiting to pick up our luggage they wouldnt let me go ahead to let the airline know we were there while Dom waited for the bags as "everyone has to carry out there own luggage". Mad country.
Tired after an 11 hour flight we were hoping that the airline would put us up in a nice hotel and wait for the flight the next day - but instead they offered us a way out (which means we cant get a Hotel paid for) and we now had to fly from L.A to Miami and change there for the connection to Lima. So considering the Geography of it all we really did go the long way round. At Miami airport we were amused by staff everywhere looking at our tickets and pointing us in the right directions. Particulary as we were just following the very clear signs to the gate we needed to go to but staff were trying to send us the wrong way. I dont think people get a chance to think for themselves here and that explains alot. Now we have missed our big posh plane the smaller American Airlines makes you pay for food. We didnt have any dollars of course.
Eventually, we arrive in Lima, Capital of darkest Peru (as Paddington Bear says). Its silly oclock in the morning and we get a bus to the hostel of our choice - (after a few stops at the hostel of the bus drivers choice of course). Then sleep. All day long.
Our first outing gave us our first taste of South America. We found a nice place for dinner where it was insisted we drink some Pisco Sour (the drink of Peru) made from Pisco, egg white and lemon. Yum. On this strip of restaurants every one had a TV showing the Football, the local team playing in the match, and all the locals were cheering and standing around watching. The central Square of Miraflores (the suburb of Lima that we are staying in) has a great little night market and plenty of things you just want to buy. The Bars dont seem to close around here, at 4pm we could hear everything still going strong and needless to say the drinks and Pisco Sours mixed with our jet lag left us feeling completely crap the next day.
Apparently Dom speaks Spanish. This is very useful. Particularly as I keep speaking to people in French or even Greek when panicked. He is teaching me the basics though and I have learnt all the important things. Greetings, manners and a red wine please.
We spent a day in Central Lima visiting the impressive Cathedral and the rather gruesome but interesting Monastary of San Fransisco. This beautiful church also had a large selection of underground Catacombs, a site of around 70,000 burials. Some of the bone filled crypts were metres deep and for some reason they had been arranged into pretty patterns which was quite unnerving. The monastary also had an ancient library with old books and texts in many languages going back hundreds of years. It looked like something out of Harry Potter. We were in time to see the changing of the guard which entailed lots of marching and drum banging and trumpet blowing and funny costumes.
We also spent a day at nearby Pachacamac, some ruins from pre Inca times. It's sad to say and I dont know if it's whether we have just been spolit when it comes to ruins from being in India, Greece and Turkey but we were just really bored by these ruins and it didnt take us long to head back.
Dom: Great to be here, as in great not to be travelling here anymore! This is a weird one to get your head around, we left Auckland 13 hrs ahead of England and 46hrs later we were 5 hrs behind England, with no sleep inbetween. My body didn't know what was going on. Now we're sleeping most of the time. Could be worse!