We took our time getting up and ready this morning. We had time for a great breakfast at the hotel which had an omelet station, papaya juice, hot coco, etc. Our cab driver, Mr. Reliable was there waiting for us and got us to the airport within 7 minutes.
As soon as we got to the ticket counter we found out our plane was delayed and there was no definite departure time. But if we really hurried, we could make it to the 10.00 AM flight. We got through check in, security, hand check of bags and to the plane in 20 minutes! We even had adjacent seats. We were not sure what we would do with all the time we had in Lima (almost 10 hours) before our flight to the US. Still we figured it would be better to get to Lima early than not get there at all!
The flight was great, we had the same terrific views and we gained new appreciation for the mountaineers who scale these peaks, some without oxygen. I promised myself (with crossed fingers) that I would come back some day prepared to do the 4 day Inca trail.
At the airport we were discussing what we could do in Lima when one of our colleagues from the medical mission (David) came in on a different flight. He had not seen Lima at all and that made the decision easier. Instead of sitting at the airport (my idea was to finish our blogs that day), we decided to go into town.
Lima airport allows you to store your luggage – either by individual bag or in a locker. The price is by the our or by the day (if you store it for >4 hours). We got a cab to Kennedy park in Miraflores.
There was an exhibition of paintings by local artists and we picked up some water colors on Quechua themes. We then started walking towards Larco Mar which is a oceanside open mall. On the way we came across a Bembos and had our favorite Tacu tacu.
I wanted to pick up a bottle of Pisco to take back to the US. The best place to get this is at a local supermarket called Metro. They had an Offerta (Deal) on a combo of Pisco+Ginger Ale+ Syrup for 32 Soles. We tried to get just the Pisco for that price but they would sell that for only 51 Soles! Go Figure.
Arguing in Spanish was not likely to get us anywhere. So we got the set and drank the ginger ale walking along the street and sitting at Larco mar! The syrup bottle we did not know what to do but the situation took care of itself later.
The view from Larco mar was terrific. We spent some time absorbing the beautiful views of the Pacific. There were many paragliders flying around off the cliffs and made of fun watching. They would fly close to the high rise buildings and do flips and stunts that gave the watchers butterflies in their stomachs.
We walked along the ocean along a street lined with parks. We ended up at a lighthouse just as the sun was setting into the Pacific. The afternoon was a perfect ending to a most wonderful trip to Peru.
As soon as the sun set, we started looking for a cab back to the airport. This is when we found out that cab drivers need a special permit to drop people off at the airport. Cab after cab refused to take us there and we started to get a bit anxious even though it was still 4 hours to our flight. Finally one cab driver agreed to take us. We piled in heaving a sigh of relief. After a few minutes, the driver told us (via Sabrina who was translating) that he too did not have a permit. He was scared the police would catch him and fine him a huge amount.
So he was going to drop us off a little ways from the airport! Great we thought, having no real options. When the airport came close he told us to grab our bags and hop off ASAP. He barely came to a standstill and we were out on the sidewalk! Luckily the airport was just across the highway. We took a pedestrian overpass and walked into the airport.
We retrieved our bags and realized that we would have to check in the bottles of Pisco (and syrup since we still had it with us) since we cannot carry on any liquids. So we started packing and redistributing the stuff and as luck would have it, the syrup bottle rolled off and hit the floor and solve our problem.
We checked in and having learned our lesson, ate at the Subway before going through security. The international departure area, unlike the domestic one, does have several places to eat but as David said, “Subway is the US embassy in Lima”. We had a very bumpy flight to Newark and a smooth connection home. The Pisco bottle I am glad to say made it safely! I was able to invite a friend to sample my first Pisco Sour on father’s day!