Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am on the way - 24 oct 2005

This morning, 24th October I had to get up at 05.30 in the morning.....aaaahhhhh..... I hate mornings. Lucky enough Alima took me under her wings so I could sleep in Brussels and she
brought me to the airport. My flight from Brussels to Madrid took off with a 30 minuts delay, good for me cause at the security checkpoint the beep went off 2 times and the officers thought I just graduated at a Taliban training centre. Anyway.... they let me go when they could not find
any explosives.

Iberia is almost bankrupt too I think cause during the 2 hours flight we even did not get a
cup of coffee. Flying from Brussels to Madrid is like flying from Los Angeles to Mexico City.
The Airport of Madrid is dirty, toilets not cleaned and most of the staff is already happy enough they
can produce Spanish. English has not been invented there yet.

At around 13.00 hrs the plane to Lima, Peru took off, an Airbus A340-600. A smooth 12
hours flight took us over Portugal, Madeira, Sint Maarten, Venezuela and Columbia to Peru.
It was 17.40 hrs local time (00.40 Belgian time next day) when the plane touched down on
the runway of Lima Int. Airport after flying over the Andes and the outskirts of the city.
So dirty the airport in Madrid was, so clean is the airport of Lima. The officers give you the
passportstamp with a smile on the face, what a difference compared with officials in f.e. China.

At home I already made a reservation in a small guesthouse in Miraflores, the nicest part
of the city and I asked the owners to pick me up at the airport so no hassle. Its actually a
possada where I stay, a family who rent 2 rooms in the house. I can use their bathroom,
kitchen, living room and so on. For the room I pay 10 USD and the transfer costed me
15USD. By the way, the local currency is Sol and for 1 euro you get 3.75 Sol.

As I already said, Miraflores is the nicest area in Lima. Here you can safely walk on the
street day and night, you find a lot of shops and any food you want, pizza hut, Kentucky
Fried chicken, Burger King and Mc Donald included. Its strange but the burgers here are
not cheaper than in Belgium, the pizza,s instead you can get for about 3 euro. The houses
in this area are residential but its strange to see that every house has a big fence with on
top of it 220 volt wires as protection.

My place is about 50 meters of the beach so tomorow when I wake up I can see the
pacific ocean. Its a bit too cold here to swim as the antartict gulfstream passes here
and the average day temperature is 19 degrees if the fog disappears in time. I will
stay in Lima tomorow and visit the old city centre but first a long sleep cause you really
get tired from such a day.