A Travellerspoint blog

Toronto - Miami - Lima

This is an old journal, from our trip around the world in 2002, taken from the diary I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs, they are scans of prints taken with a compact camera and images from the scrap book I made afterwards.


View Around the World for our Silver Wedding 2002 on Grete Howard's travel map.

At Toronto’s Terminal 3, the check-in staff do not normally weigh the luggage, only if it looks heavy. Ours obviously doesn’t. They have a strange system here: even though we have checked our cases in and been given our luggage tags, we still have to take our bags with us through Duty Free and Immigration. This is not the Canadian Immigration, but US. Only the Americans would have their own immigration in another country. Through Customs, still carrying our check-in luggage. Finally we arrive at an unassuming conveyor belt where our bags are sent to the plane. We and the hand luggage go through X-Ray. Inside there are no shops, just one small café. This is very odd and quite frustrating as we have three hours here. We have just enough Canadian money left to share a chicken wrap and an apple juice. I suppose we are technically in USA now, so we could probably use US$. I have the runs again – the chilli comes out just as hot as it went in. When we finally board, we do so by Groups as specified on the boarding cards. I suppose Americans can’t understand row numbers.

American Airlines do not serve free alcohol, so I pay for a couple for Bacardi & Cokes. They also do not serve food on a three hour flight over lunchtime, so by the time we get to Miami, I am very hungry indeed. We go for a pizza and a beer. Good, but it means we are too late to purchase any Duty Free as it has to be picked up at the gate. For the next flight between Miami and Lima, I am welded into to an exit row seat where the arms don’t lift, for five hours. It doesn’t really matter, as I sleep most of the way. I miss the dinner but at least the Bacardi & Coke is free.

At Lima airport there is a long queue for immigration. Our cases arrive amongst the last, but at least they do arrive, unlike those of the Explore Group who we see in the arrivals lounge. For Customs you have a Russian roulette button to press, deciding whether you proceed through Green or Red channel. We draw the short straw, but there is only a cursory check. Marcello is waiting with a car to take us to the hotel through the appalling traffic and some crazy driving. After several near misses I am grateful to arrive at the hotel in one piece.

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The La Castellana Hotel is in complete darkness at 23:00, and the gate is locked with barbed wire on top. Marcello tells us this area is safe, then why all these security measures and all the armed guards on the various buildings we pass? Stuart Wicks, the manager/owner of our agents here in Peru, Tucano Reps, is waiting for us in the lounge. He goes through the itinerary with us, but I feel he is really not on our wave length. The hotel in Ica has been changed, apparently to a better one. La Castillana here in Lima is a quaint, colonial place, but the room is dark and dingy with a musty smell. Even though it is late, we make time for a Bacardi & Coke before going to bed.

Posted by Grete Howard 04:42 Archived in Peru

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