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Arrival in Peru, No Time for Sightseeing

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We arrived at Lima's airport late on the night of August 30 and stayed at Hostal El Patio, a charming and not-uncomfortable little place. They let us arrive very late (after midnight), picked us up from the airport, and were clean and quiet enough for the first night.

The next two nights were spent in luxury at a Doubletree, enjoying a soft bed and splurging a bit. My parents had saved up some Hilton points, and offered them to us as an anniversary gift, without which this would have been impossible. (Thanks!) This hotel was willing to accept post on our behalf, which solved one issue for us.

We did not really see much of Lima in the first three days. Knowing that we had two days of comfort and safety at the Doubletree, we had not planned much in advance. Also, a month of Ecuador had run down our supplies: my old sandals were pretty much destroyed, a few shirts had seen their last days of service following shrinkage in a hostel launderia... in short, sightseeing took second-fiddle to shopping, answering long-overdue email, and generally preparing for Cuzco.

We did wander around the Miraflores district, mostly a "gringo" area full of shopping, food, and nightlife. Although not exactly what some would call an "authentic cultural experience," I find that every so often I need to sit in a business district just relaxing and catching up with the world. The plan is to actually do Lima on the way back, as we have to fly out of there on the way to Buenos Aires.

On the other hand, we did waste some time talking to travel agents. Note to future Peruvian travellers: LAN has two prices for domestic flights, one for Peruvians and the other for foreigners. There are, reputedly, some ways around this, and the woman at the LAN ticket desk did not seem to want to charge us the foreigner price. But Peruvian Airlines and Star Peru, the two low-cost airlines flying to Cuzco, won out. Which led us to the ancient city of the Incas in the morning of September 3... more about which later.

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