I’m in Miami, B*tch

12 Jan

Lima, Peru - en route to the beach

Our journey began yesterday morning at Pearson International Airport, where the 4 of us met for our last taste of Tim Horton’s for the next 8+ months. (Steeped tea, I will miss you.)

Tal and Jonny were able to book their flight to Peru through points so we were flying in on separate flights but we were able to arrange to arrive in Lima only an hour apart. Jonny and Tal saw J.J. and I off on our Toronto –> Miami –> Lima flight before making their way too their gate to catch the Toronto –> Newark –> Lima flight.

J.J. and I arrived in Lima first and waited at our flight’s luggage carousel. Finally the carousel stopped going around, never delivering our bags. Just as we were about to go to the desk to report lost luggage one of the airport workers came up to us and said “Kaitlin? J.J.?”. When we nodded he says simply “You’re bags are in Miami.”

Perfect.

We filled out the forms and were told our luggage would be delivered to our hostel sometime today between 8am and 3pm. There was nothing more we could do so we waited for Tal and Jonny’s flight to get in so that we could cab to our hostel all together.

We found a cab driver from the well-known and trusted Green Taxi company (s/55) and he began guiding us out of the airport, through the throngs of people holding up signs all around from behind the number of stanchions they have set up to allow a clear path for passengers leaving the airport. Leaving the Lima airport must be what walking a red carpet feels like.

And we were off. It was late so it was dark but we opened the cab windows and the cool, humid ocean breeze felt amazing. We drove past a long and mostly deserted sandy beach that reminded me of the Toronto Beach minus the late night dog walkers.

About 20 minutes later we arrived  and checked in at our hostel, Condor’s House located in Miraflores, apparently the safest part of Lima. We had pre-booked for the 4 of us to be in an 8-person dorm but when we arrived all that was available was a private double room (bunk beds) and 2 beds in the 8-person dorm. We decided who would get which room in the way we’ve decided to make all of our big decisions on the trip: leave it to chance and toss a coin. J.J. and I wound up with the private room that smelled of damp must while Tal and Jonny got the 8-person dorm  that was much cleaner smelling, not to mention had a shower big enough for a “team shower” (Tal’s words).

We decided to quickly freshen up (ie J.J. and I mooched a change of clothes and some deodorant from Tal and Jonny) and went out for a celebratory drink.

We wandered up the road, following a map we’d gotten at the hostel and found ourselves on a small side alleyway (similar to a very small-scale version of Toronto’s Distillery District) lined with restaurants, pubs and clubs and kareoke bars. We found a table on a small patio and ordered the local beer: Cristale, which for a pitcher, cost us a whopping s/16 (the equivalent to $8 Canadian).

2 pitchers later we were ready for a late night snack. Jonny had seen that McDonald’s here has chicken wings so the boys opted to try the local food. We also tried Inca Cola which we assumed was like Coke by the name. Wrong. Tastes like cream soda, looks like yellow Gatorade or Fresca.

We began the walk back to our hostel at 2:30am and had to walk through a park. 2 things we noticed: 1) lots of thin wild cats, 2) mums out with their young kids that came up to us to beg for money or try to sell us packs of Chicklets. (Why is it always Chicklets?)

We went to bed immediately upon getting home, realizing no one had toothpaste) and slept amazingly well (well Jonny and I did, Tal and J.J. a little less so).

As soon as we woke up this morning we rushed to the front desk to find out if our bags had arrived. No bags. So off we went to the grocery store to pick up food for breakfast and much-needed toothpaste, came back to the hostel to do a few things before exploring the city and hanging out at the playa (beach).

The walk down to the beach was incredibly steep down a very long winding stone staircase, then became a steep rickety wooden staircase. The beach was a rock beach packed with South American tourists, surfers, and us.

Leaving the beach was easier said than done as we had to go up all of those stairs we had walked down but we had a goad:  find a traditional Peruvian meal.

Our waiter spoke no English so Tal played Vanna White and pointed to the menu displayed on a chalkboard and we tried a number of mystery dishes that were each amazing. Except for the ceviche.

We then trekked back to Condor’s House to check on the status of our bags. Still no bags.

We couldn’t get through to anyone at Taca (our connecting airline) on the phone despite calling repeatedly to customer service, a cell phone number that was given to us the night before and the Lima airport baggage department.

Instead we opted to fulfil Tal’s dream of an enpinada dinner on a  patio where we talked at length about how this trip still doesn’t seem more than a vacation to any of us.

Then it was bedtime – off to Cusco in the morning by plane to begin acclimatizing for our Inca Trail trek! (Still no bags.)

*Note to my family: the title of this entry is a line in a song, it’s not meant to be offensive 🙂

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2 Responses to “I’m in Miami, B*tch”

  1. Erin M January 12, 2012 at 09:26 #

    I hope your bags arrive in time for your flight to Cusco!
    Can’t wait to see some more pictures!
    E

  2. Harju January 12, 2012 at 11:38 #

    Loved reading this, but feeling for you about the no luggage situation. Hoping they get there soon. Awesome to hear that you are all safe and in seemingly good spirits despite. Love you kids!! xo

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