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Below the Equator! Landing in Lima, Peru.

The deserted streets of Guatavita, Colombia

When we board the undersized local bus departing from one of Guatavita’s deserted streets, it is not without a small measure of regret and sadness. We’ve accomplished our good-byes with Felipe and the gang at La Juanita without too much drama, but still, our leaving is bittersweet. Because we don’t actually feel ready to leave the graciousness of Colombia’s arms quite yet. In 19 short days, she’s already managed to seduce us with her charms.

But there’s no need to be truly morose.

After all, we’re departing for new lands. Uncharted territory. Traveler’s gold. It’s our first time visiting Peru AND the first time, either of us have been below the equator…surely this must qualify as some kind of traveler badge of honour, right? πŸ˜‰

Jorge Chavez International Airport

After enjoying Colombia’s parade of warmish days and suffering through her coolish nights (sans heaters), the blast of humid air that hits us as we exit Jorge Chavez International Airport is nothing short of blissful. We’re greasy from a full day’s worth of travel and soon the stale smell of airplane mingles with our sweat and the pollution of Lima to create a truly unique bouquet.

Fortunately, the only person that is obligated to smell it, is the driver that has been sent to pick us up by the Wasihpy Hostal at an elevated rate of 55 nuevo soles or 20 Canadian dollars.

First time in the Southern Hemisphere! Arriving in Lima, Peru.

Arranging airport pick-up is not something we normally do, but in an uncommon bout of new country apprehension, I submit to the hostel’s warning that it is “for our own safety.” And I must admit, that it is certainly a pleasant experience to exit immigration after a long day of voyaging and immediately be whisked away into a cool and waiting car.

After driving for approximately 40 minutes, we end up in the middle class Miraflores neighbourhood, outside the locked door of the Wasihpy Hostel and wait anxiously for the door to open. There is some confusion when the driver needs to paid, because we don’t yet have any Peruvian currency and have assumed that the fee will be added to our hostel bill. Once it’s sorted (with the hostel taking a 15 soles cut out of the fee!), we are shown to our private “room.”

And it’s a private room alright. We even have our own bathroom. The problem is that there is only ONE slightly larger than average twin bed for both of us to sleep on. There’s no fan in sight and of course, no air conditioning, and the humid heat that we’d so appreciated on landing is starting to stifle.

We look at each other with dismay, but we have agreed to a room that has a bed that is a “square and half,” in size. And I must admit that the Bear and I were more than a little curious about what a “square and a half” bed might look like way under the equator in Lima, Peru.

We have no choice, but to cuddle tight and hope that one of us does not roll off it in the middle of the night. As you can imagine, for us, this is no problem at all. πŸ™‚

PS: For those of you wondering about the “safety” of taking a cab to the middle class neighbourhood of Miraflores at night, in Lima, Peru – it’s totally fine. Save the 15 soles and take your own taxi. Also, don’t book a square and a half bed for 2 people. πŸ˜‰

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