00:00 - The last day! We left Cusco this morning and flew to Lima. This was to be our last day together. Some will be leaving at 6 tomorrow morning and some slightly later. The only eventful things during the morning have been my swiss knife being confiscated at the airport (I forgot to put it in my hold luggage), and my disinfectant liquid for my hands also being confiscated as it is allegedly flammable...not sure I could make a plane explode but you never know! Whilst on the plane however, I was next to a chap with his phone turned on and trying to make a phone call as we were landing in Lima. We got to the hotel about quarter to two and sally took us for lunch on the waterfront. It would have been a pretty spectacular idea, ruined only by the fact that today Lima was foggy... The fog that normally is attributed to London :-). You really could see very little. We were reliably told that normally this is an occurrence from april to october, but the weather is changing everywhere...isn't it???
Still, we had an enjoyable lunch and Matthew even shared food with his wife Harrie (he hates sharing food). We then took taxis to go downtown so that sally could give us a brief tour of the essentials. Unfortunately, the combination of an accident and a demonstration meant that it took us an hour and a half instead of 20 minutes to get to the main square! Still, we managed to find each other (we were in 3 taxis all taking different routes), and saw the main block of the demonstrators come in the square with the ruot police looking on. All very peaceful however. The distinguishing feature of Lima are the wooden balconies, and Sally took us round to see a few as well as some pretty impressive buildings. The state of upkeep of amy given building varies enormously. It was all too wuick to be able to form an opinion, but what little we saw was pretty nice, although I am not sure that having a motorway like road linking downtown to Miraflores is a particularly pretty idea. However, considering that there is no underground system, it is one way of dealing with traffic.
We got back to the hotel later then we had anticipated and after a quick shower we met up to go for our last dinner together. Sally had arranged for a last round of Pisco sours at the hotel and Phil made a little speech on all of our behalfs to thank Sally for her outstanding efforts over the last 3 weeks. She did indeed make a real difference in the enjoyment of the trip. Her enthusiasm was obvious for all to see. Dinner was at a gourmet bistrot in Miraflores, about 10 minutes from the hotel. Food was great, wine plentiful and we had a laugh. Some of us then walked back and we said our last goodbyes in the lobby.
Well, it's been a pretty outstanding 3 weeks and although I am assured the next 3 in Patagonia will be pretty special, it is hard to think of switching my travel companions.