Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012
08.04.2012 - 08.04.2012
This is our last day in Lima and Peru - our flight leaves just before midnight tonight, so we pack, check out and store our large cases in the hotel's luggage locker. We assume that Easter Sunday will be a quiet day of religious observance and family activity, so wander over to the Kennedy/Central Park area of Miraflores to check it out.
Avenue Arequipa, one of the main thoroughfares from Miraflores to Lima Centro, is completely closed for the morning to vehicle traffic (lots of police and roadblocks ensure this) and many people are taking the opportunity to walk/jog/bike up and down the street. This makes walking in Lima much more enjoyable, so we join in, walking down the central boulevard toward downtown for an hour or so, before turning ourselves in to Tip Top, an old 'A&W' type/vintage restaurant north of San Isidro for refreshments in the heat and humidity, and then retrace our steps to Miraflores for our usual sandwich lunch. Ric finds a nice little place for sale - a bit of a fixer upper but in the grand style.
Ric is indefatigable and heads out for a final walkabout on the Miraflores seaside for the afternoon, while I opt to stay at the hotel and work on my blog from one of the pleasant common areas in the main entry hallway. The lean, older Hispanic gentleman who apparently is a permanent Antigua resident in a second floor apartment, makes his way slowly out to take the air a couple of times while I write or tap away. I chat with a younger Hispanic woman, newly-arrived with her husband from Chicago, but originally from Honduras. She is delighted to be back in Latin America, but her husband, also Hispanic is said to be nervous about Lima. She hopes to persuade him to take the 'chicken bus' (1 sole for as far as you want to go) to Lima's immense central market today and shoulder her way through the throngs there to explore and shop. I suggest that the taxis are quite inexpensive and wish her well.
Ric returns and our airport taxi, arranged by Juan, arrives on time to get us to the airport well ahead of our flight. The driver speaks no English, but gets us to the airport with great skill so we tip him well with some of our remaining soles and leave him very pleased, pointing us to the correct (guarded) airport door which is opened immediately for us as (apparently still quite identifiable) gringos on our way to a flight.
After negotiating the various pre-flight stations we dispense of our few remaining soles at an airport shop priced for that purpose. Outside the shop a Peruvian musical trio are performing for an appreciative idle crowd - it seems that Ric can't escape the ubiquitous pan pipes just yet!
The full flight to Houston leaves on time but with carry-on bag space oversubscribed by many passengers with numerous large cases. Several hours later we have the same experience on our early morning flight to Calgary and we end up jamming our packs under seat in front of us where our feet may otherwise have gone.
Ric and I finally part company after claiming our checked bags in Calgary as I continue on to catch my short flight to Victoria and home.
We have been great travel companions and agree to get together soon in Victoria to reminisce about an outstanding adventure in Peru!