We met our taxi out in front of the hotel at 5:30 this morning and drove quite a ways to the international airport. Once we arrived, we were told (kind of) that our plane was out of commission and that we would have to wait until 10:00 to get any sort of update. The airline gave us a breakfast voucher for free coffee and croissants, but waiting in an airport restaurant for 4 hours is kind of a drag, especially when we still have all our luggage to lug around with us. We've heard the Amy Winehouse album about 4 times now. The TVs are only playing the sports network, so I'm seeing lots of futbol updates. I'm really tired and trying not to be too bored. I did venture out into the shops and got myself a magnet. I tried to find souvenirs for Christmas stockings, but nothing seems worth hauling home. Sorry, family stockings.
So we have new flights that will depart now and have us arrive in Lima. The airline will supply us with a hotel room there, then we'll have a 2am flight to LAX, then another flight to SFO afterwards. Ugh, but at least I'm adding another ciudad to my Sud America list. Depending on whether we get out and about in Lima, perhaps I'll pick up another magnet.
On this flight, we pass over the Andes.
We arrived in Lima and headed to the airline desk to get a hotel and taxi voucher. The taxi from the airport to our downtown hotel during rush hour took us over an hour. The streets are lined with cinderblock boxes stacked upon cinderblock boxes -- the homes and businesses here are not what I imagined, much more poor. The drivers here are worse than those in BA -- they seems to be trying to get their cars as close as possible without actually touching, and like in BA, the painted lanes just seem to be suggestions that no one pays any attention to, and they like to honk a lot. There are people trying to sell things to the stopped drivers in traffic -- some things are fairly normal, like sodas and candy, while others are selling Kermit the Frog puppets and various sizes of world globes.
When we finally arrive at our hotel, we get checked in. The lobby has a blue Porsche in it and the music is too loud and club-like. As tired as we all are, this lobby is hellish. We're told that we get a free dinner and that their restaurant opens in an hour, so we head up to our rooms. There's a jetted hot tub in the middle of the room. But the rest of the room/bathroom is nice. I take a luke-warm shower and feel a bit better. Dinnertime rolls around.
The restaurant is really fancy. We're told our free meal comes with a free soda, appetizer, and entree. We all choose the Peruvian steak dish and lemonada to drink -- no choice on the appetizer which turns out to be fishy, but it was pretty. I ate the garnishes and gave the fish to Gina. Then our steak dish arrived -- it was the best meal of the whole trip! A silver lining to our travel mishaps! All throughout dinner, Irene keeps nodding off. With dinner finished, we head up to our rooms and sleep for about 3 hours. Ugh...