Had an early start to get to Heathrow. Boarded KLM flight for initial journey to Amsterdam. Changed planes at Amsterdam for onward flight to Aruba, Dutch Antillies. Arrived at Aruba airport. The temperature as we left the aircraft down to the tarmac was boiling. The air conditioning in the terminal building did little to compensate for the heat. Re-boarded the aircraft ready for departure for Lima. Had wonderful views over the Andes as we neared Lima. Some of the mountains were in clouds and others were snow capped. Arrived on the tarmac at Lima and faced queues for everything – passport control etc.
Left the arrivals gate at the airport and we were immediately pounced upon by touts selling everything from taxi rides to accommodation. They were very persistent and it was difficult to know whether to be polite or just ignore them. After some bartering we secured a taxi ride for 5.15 to the hostel in Lima that we had confirmed 2 days previously. The driving in Lima is crazy. A sound of the horn seems to be a substitute for all signals! The centre of Lima is full of rundown buildings which look like stacks of cardboard boxes. We arrived at the hostel in Miraflores. The outside of it was guarded by a big metal gate. Our tout who had also taken the ride with us in the taxi spoke to the Hostel owner. He said that the hostel was full. We explained that we had reserved a room. The tout said ‘this is Peru’. That was our first introduction to the reserve, reserve and reserve again scheme which operates here. Our tout suggested another Hostel not far away. He phoned en-route to check availability. They had a room free. We put our bags down, watched a bit of Peruvian TV and went straight to sleep.