After driving myself crazy in Santiago, I decided that my foot had gotten better to continue my travels, so it was on to Lima, Peru. Talk about an intimidating arrival! Picture coming through customs and out through the small door to be faced with a wall of hundreds of faces all staring in your direction, name boards in hand waiting for someone just like you.
Ever been waiting for a taxi for a while in Sydney? This is IMPOSSIBLE in Lima. Just about one in every seven cars in Lima is a taxi. Apparently you can just go and buy a taxi sign at the local hardware, so anyone can be a driver! The best part is you get to set the price and bargain a taxi driver down. He says 10, you say 6. He says 7, you start to show a slight interest but then begin looking down the street for the next taxi. He hesitatingly says 6 and you’re in the cab and on your way!
The foot didn’t get all that much better, so it was back to the doctors for a different opinion. I had to stay in the same suburb of Lima for another two long weeks.
Funniest things I encountered in Lima:
– The waitress who takes your order and then rushes to the neighbouring restaurant to return with your meal…
– The taxi driver who pulls up outside your cafe midway through your meal and asks if you needed a taxi…
– The tourist restaurant street where as you’re walking down the strip, a feisty young waitress jumps in front of your path and asks you if you’re having the fish or the pasta…
– The street hawker of increasing evils. He asks you if you want tattoos, then pirated dvd’s, then girls, then marijuana, then cocaine. Talk about an investment portfolio!
When arriving in Lima, if you don’t have a lot of luggage, go out the front door of the airport terminal and turn right and head out onto the main street. You can pick up taxis there that are three times cheaper than inside the terminal. A typical fare to Miraflores can cost between 20-30 Soles and you are expected to negotiate your price. But be wary – there are LOTS of taxi hustlers.