Monday, July 20, 2015

18 Hours in Lima

Eighteen (18) hours is 75% of a day.
That’s just enough time to spend inMui Ne.

If I am having a good-and-healthy day, I would be awake for 18 hours and be sound asleep for 6.

Eighteen hours is short for Lima. But I wanted to make the most out of my trip.

I had a midnight flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Lima. Sab was kind to drive me to the airport. It was easy to pass time in LAX. I hated it though that I had throw out the water bottle at the checkpoint.

I TRIED to sleep during the 9-hour flight to Lima. Um, NO. Lan Airlines’ in-flight entertainment was too interesting to pass up. So I watched Part 1 of the Divergent Movie series. Coincidentally, the ebook was on the tablet I brought. So bye bye sleep.
Lima Airport

The plane landed smoothly early in Lima Airport. I booked at a night in Lima Backpackers in the residential neighborhood of Surco. Marco sent me detailed instructions how to find the place. First, I withdrew some Peruvian Soles from the ATMs at the airport. But the machine only dispenses amounts up to S/. 400. Hassle. I had to withdraw another S/.400  to cover the next few days – that’s another set of bank charges. I tried withdrawing above S/. 400 in other ATMs to no avail. Irritating.

The Green Taxi just outside the arrivals area charges S/. 55 going to Surco. They offer dollar rates but I chose to get the soles (when converted, the dollar rates are higher by $5). You settle the price before you ride the taxi. I was being charged with S/.75 at first until I pointed the ssign. They just said “Oh yes. Okay okay.”Marco's tips definitely helped.


Ride took more than 40 minutes but we found the place.

My bed was still being fixed. I merrily chatted with some people hanging out at the living room for a couple of minutes. A couple just did an almost round-the-world trip for nine months and they were flying out of Lima the next day back to Netherlands. I would like to that someday tooo….*starry-eyed*

Hunger and adrenaline kept me out of the very comfy mattress. Marco invited everyone to go to a good restaurant for lunch. I quickly accepted the invitation. At 1:30 PM with no sleep and proper meal, I was famished. It was a long but pleasant walk going to the restaurant.

I was counting the seconds until our food arrived. I was famished. Meanwhile, I tamed my hunger eating these...pop-corn like appetizer on the table.

S/. 27 for this awesomess – Ceviche wins over Kilawin. I’m sorry kilawin. The lemon tastes better on raw fish vs. vinegar. 

Rice, squid and CEVICHE!
After that late lunch, I still had two hours of light to explore the Plaza Armas. Marco gave me a bus card, a map and instructions how to find Plaza Armas.


I failed in finding the bus stop. I asked a bystander how to get to Plaza Armas via bus. Luckily, she spoke in English. She advised me it would be better for me to hop on a taxi and tell the driver to take me to Plaza Armas, and do not pay more than 15 soles. I only had less than 3 hours of sunlight so I followed her advice.
Gas station at the corner of the neighborhood

The ride took around 25 minutes, with minimal traffic as we approached the city center.
Cathedral of Lima

Lots of tourists. But I was not lucky to find anyone "talented" to take a photo of me.

The church was not captured in full
Important buildings around

Working out the selfie stick was a challenge. This is another skill to master.

Selfie-stick struggles. Argh.


Exploring the side streets. Lots of souvenir shops. I wasn’t interested in buying anything. I tried to withdraw in other ATMs but I only found the ATMs of the same bank, similar to the one in the airport. They only give 400 soles max. Boooo. Oh well. I had enough for to last me until I reach Cuzco after a few days.

I grabbed another taxi when I started losing light. There's plenty in the city center. I showed him the map. I wanted to pay for 15 soles too but he wanted to charge 20 soles because of traffic. I cannot argue effectively in Spanish so I gave in. 

I was in bed by 9:00PM. I set an alarm for 3:00AM. I had an early flight to Cuzco! 

'Twas a short and simple visit. The ceviche made the stopover worth it.

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