Day 52: La Paz to Lima (Bolivia, Peru)

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Alarmclock 4:40 am. *Prack* … we pack our things … breakfast is available 4:30 am! It was unbelievable. And it is. At least there is coffee, juice, toast and marmelade and we still have our emergency cereals.

At checkout there is some mess with the 0.5 l courtesy water bottles from our room (we took a cold one out of the minibar and put the warm courtesy bottle from the bathroom in the fridge instead – they are confused now, if the process requires to charge us 15 Bolivianos = 1.8 eur or not). I leave them in their confusion and inability to communicate with me in english with a handwritten english description of the situation. They will sort it out as soon as an english speaker is available. That much about Real Plaza ***** International Convention Center.

The driver is on time and the drive to the airport without friction. We fill out two forms, checkin. My passport and ticket is checked by half of the airport staff, fortunately I am not called in one of this rooms:

As we find out later La Paz airport is internationally not considered a “clean” airport, so they check heavily for drug traffickers to get their reputation back.

The duty free has some super attractive offers. I fight myself to take them all:

USD 26 !!

Star Alliance Gold Card pre boarding – first in the plane in Latin America, too:

FLIGHT12: Avianca AV7391/2K7391 (operated by Aerolineas Galapagos) La Paz (LPB) 07:56 am to Lima (LIM) 09:25 am (there was no parking lot for the plane at lima airport); duration 2h09; 1.004 Star Alliance status miles

In the arrival zone at Lima airport we book a fixed rate taxi to our Hotel for USD 19. It is a ride of about 45 min through heavy traffic. We stay in Marriott Courtyard Lima Miraflores for 2 days to have an infrastructure for running, laundry, exercise, shopping supplies, …

Marriott as always tries to put you us on low level (available immediately). We resist and get up to floor 8. Not an issue (we need it to acclimate to low altitude).

The hotel room is not bad. They even have a nespresso machine in the room.

We go, get some money from the ATM. In Peru you are charged between 4 to 5 EUR per ATM transaction. An ATM gives you usually 400 Peruvian Sol (about 103 EUR), some may even give you 500 SOL. The charge is 4 to 5 %!!!

Changing money is not cheaper (I asked the official traders with the official jackets on the street). ATM gives SOL or alternatively USD in tourism regions. If you find a Banco de la Nación and have a DKB VISA with active status, they do not charge you anything for ATM transactions.

With the money we go to CLARO, queue up and get within one hour a prepaid SIM card “30 diaz 30 gb” for 35 SOL (9 EUR). It is easy to top up. Nearly every shop does it. LTE+ service provided in bigger city, else UMTS.

Then we look for a laundry (8 SOL per kilo, that is a fair price, 24 hours) and go for peruvian food around the hotel. We just pop into Los Inkas, more or less touristic, but good seafood (“La macho”).

It is supercheap, les than 25 eur with coke and beer.

I book the evening food tour with The Lima Gourmet Company, they will pick us up at 4:25 pm from the hotel entrance.

Christina books a free walking tour with Inkan Milky Way Tours tomorrow in downtown lima. Time for a beer in the hotels street garden.

The gourmet tour is not cheap (US$ 135 per head) but worth it. They have their own driver with a new Mercedes bus and you get a lot of high quality food and drinks to taste. The host (Josselin) is a little bit high voltage, but explains a lot about fusion cooking and the Peruvian top chefs. We started in the ya href=””>Cala on the beach with a Pisco sour.

Then we went to Amaz, an amzonian restaurant and did our own amaz ceviche.

Then we went to Huaca Pucllana Restaurant with a View on the pre-inca ruins with a taste of beefheart, japan-peru ceviche, chinese-peruvian chicken and stuffed potatoes.

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Then we got some desert before we drove to Barranco for an Ice Cream at Lucuma.

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In the end we were dropped at the hotel, super full and ready to sleep.

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