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Day 4 – Santiago to Lima

Sunday August 25th

We had a 9:00 am pick-up for the airport, booked through the Amistar office. We were told the price would be ‘$15,000 Chilean – no more, no less’. This was good – it was cheaper than the booking on-line (which was about the same price per person) and we knew exactly how much cash we needed to keep back to pay when we booked it. The journey was quick, and we arrived at 9:45, in plenty of time for our 11:55 am flight.

Except it wasn’t 11:55. It was 13:55. Don’t ask me how, but bearing in mind all the times I’d checked the flights, I was two hours out! Just as well we were early and not late… And just as well we could book our luggage in early – it meant we were free to wander round and relax.

Santiago Airport

Now a long time ago we decided that travelling is a mind-set. And with the possible exception of long flights in economy (which just suck), the mind-set is ‘the journey is part of the experience’. So we spent our time in Santiago Airport having a cup of coffee, window shopping, having lunch, and generally just chilling out. And the time just flew by.

Tip: There are two restaurants that are worth a mention – ‘Gatsbys’, which is a family buffet-style restaurant. If we’d have known our flight was later, we’d have gone here for breakfast. Then ‘Ruby Tuesday’, where we ended up for an extremely good lunch. Ruby Tuesday is a typical ‘ribs, chicken and steak’ restaurant – and the burger we had is one of the best I’ve tasted. We are already planning to go back when we’re in transit on the way home. Barbecued ribs I think, next time….

Our LAN flight was about half full, and left bang on time (well, two hours late if you take my original timing ;) ).We’d heard bad things about LAN, but so far all our experiences with them have been good. The planes have been comfortable, refreshment has been edible, the air crew have been friendly and helpful. The in-flight entertainment has been varied and watchable. I spent a very happy two-and-a-half hours watching ‘The Sound of Music’! Fortunately for Art I did not sing along with all of the songs (but I did remember all the words).

There was a welcoming sign with our name on it the other side of baggage control, and a friendly guide to take us to our hotel. Tip: We were recommended to take US dollars with us, as not many places outside of Peru carry Peruvian currency. I couldn’t see that it was financially efficient to convert our cash from GBP or NZD to USD then into Peruvian sol, so took a chance on there being ATMs near our hotel, and was not disappointed. The ATMs also give out US dollars. One down side (and bearing in mind that there’s a fee per transaction), the maximum Peruvian Sol that can be withdrawn is 450 or about $225 NZD.

Jose Antonio Hotel, Lima

The Jose Antonio Hotel is in Miraflores, and is very comfortable. I have only two small issues with the room – both of which we could get changed if we felt strongly enough about them:

The room has twin beds

There’s no kettle!

Miraflores itself is an upmarket seaside resort, and very pleasant. We decided a snack was in order so went for a stroll along the main street to a friendly looking café. And what a feast we had! Cheese & ham Panini, and a banana split between us. The food was very reasonably priced at just over 35 sol. Unfortunately we had drinks too – a glass of wine each and my first Pisco Sour. So with tip, our bill came to 100 sol! But we did have a good time….

Tip: Pisco Sours are the national drink. Pisco is a grape brandy, and the other ingredients are lime, whisked egg whites and angostura bitters. The one I had was excellent – but very strong… I have the headache to prove it! See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pisco_Sour

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holidays/abroad/peru/day_4.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/12 13:37 by art
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