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Escaping Asunción

Our last day in Paraguay. I'm glad to have come here to see it but am very happy that we're now moving on. We checked in at the airport to await our flight. The first leg is with TAM - a very comfy and smooth flight. We got to Santiago at about 3pm. It was strange being back there again and we were both itching to be out of the airport and back down to the lakes. However, we contented ourselves with Pisco Sour, free internet access and whiled away the time until our flight to Lima.

In the airport we also saw signs that it was Father's Day (yes Dad a confession - even though its always the Sunday after Beccie's birthday I'd forgotten!!) so I called home quickly to speak to Dad and Mum. It was great to hear from them. Having the odd phase of Luddite tendencies, I still find it amazing that even though we're half way round the world I was speaking to them as if they were just round the corner.

The leg to from Santiago to Lima didn't match up to the previous high standards we'd had from Lan Chile. The plane had seen better days but the flight passed smoothly enough and we soon touched down in Lima at around 11pm.

Here we'd expected a pretty grotty airport and an onslaught of people pushing "cambio, taxi, hotel" but it wasn't the case. The airport was very modern and looked as if it was recently built. I'd spotted that they'd only given Stef a 30 day stamp on his paperwork but they happily changed it so that we both have 90 days. We probably won't be here for more than 30 but it gives us the flexibility just in case.

In the main arrivals hall there were loads of people meeting the flight, many being drivers from hotels collecting new customers. Stef had phoned yesterday to book us into an the Inkawasi hotel in Miraflores. They said they would collect us but were nowhere in sight. We called them and got a "we don't collect" reply. Stef also had the feeling that the person he spoke to knew nothing of our booking. When we arrived there - nice looking place - Stef's suspicions were confirmed. No double room with private bath just bunks in a dorm - not for us!

Fortunately we had a friendly taxi driver who had waited while we checked (there were no lights on and the door was closed). He took us to an alternative, Hotel Ejecutivo, still within our budget but closer to the centre of Miraflores, the part of Lima we'd planned to stay in. They had a room, basic but OK. It was a long day but sleep was slow in coming.