Tag Archive: lima


Back in Lima and sweating like John Leslie. Partly because of the humidity, but also due the existence of millions of insane drivers. Having been a passenger in a car driven by my good friend and holder of the world land speed record between Milton Keynes and Oadby (on the back roads), Jonathan Gorvin, I am no stranger to four-wheeled fear. However, the ride from the airport to Miraflores, where I am now staying, means my bottom now resembles a wind sock – and not for the first time this trip either. Just last week, I once again fell victim to both-barrels-in-the-bathroom (BBB) syndrome – a hideous experience that leaves the sufferer stark bollock naked, sweating and close to tears in the WC after enduring constant exits from both orifices (barrels). The cause? Alcohol. In my case, copious amounts of Pisco, consumed at high altitude, on an empty stomach. No amount of Gatorade, water, pineapple juice and Coca Cola in the mini bar could shift the inevitable, nagging dehydration the next day.

After an extended period of recovery, it was time to fulfil a lifelong ambition and visit Machu Picchu – one of the “new” Seven Wonders of the World. Waking at 3am to catch a bus to Ollaytantambo, the departure point for trains to the mountain top city, was predictably unpleasant. I should, however, put this unpleasantness into perspective as I realise my blogs have thus far made my experience in Peru sound well, erm, unpleasant. If truth be told, the early start that day paled into insignificance as the sticky dawn mist gave way to bright sunshine revealing the majesty of these most remarkable of Incan ruins. My words could never do the vista justice, so the picture below will have to suffice.

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Stone walls at Machu Picchu are like curry houses in Leicester – everywhere. Although much of the masonry is undoubtedly astonishing, the yank couple who repeatedly clasped hands and shouted “wow” each time they saw some nifty brickwork made the thought of hurling myself down the soft green slopes and into the muddy river below an extremely attractive proposition. That was until I encountered the Japanese, who absolutely fascinate me. I have often silently pondered just how many units of memory exist on SD cards housed in cameras belonging to the entire Japanese race. If said memory were stacked side-by-side, would it exceed the length of the Great Wall of China? My guess would be yes. Just what is it that compels the Japanese to take photographs of absolutely everything, no matter how bizarre? Picture the scene: There I was, enjoying a tube of Cheese flavoured Pringles and admiring the breath-taking scenery, when a chap unfurling a karate uniform caught my gaze. The chap then donned the uniform and instructed his girlfriend to take photos of him adopting several iconic poses in front of the ruins. Then they swapped places. I just had to take a sly snap – even though I was fearful of being castrated by a perfectly executed kick in the bollocks for showing such disrespect. My punishment was actually severe sunburn as stupidly, I didn’t wear any sunscreen that day and was to spend the rest of the week with a face like a baboon’s arse.

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After Machu Picchu, it was time to make up for time lost due to BBB by embarking on a couple more tours. The first took in several sights in the Sacred Valley and the second was supposed to consist of a whistle stop tour of the city of Cusco. I say “supposed” as despite being scheduled to arrive at 3pm, the bus that was to transport us around the city had still not arrived at 4pm. Vexed, my girlfriend and I decided to ask for our money back, which was to prove an extremely arduous task. Cue another heated argument in Spanish. Determined not to be outdone this time, I chipped in and gave the tour operator some feedback which I think may have consisted of me threatening to remove his computer to sell to passers-by unless he returned our money. 20 minutes and 30 Soles later, I was enjoying a pint of Old Speckled Hen in the nearby Irish pub. Happy days…

Not for long. After taking all of my clothes to the launderette, I then forgot to collect them at the agreed time. By the time I had remembered, the place was closed and I only had a small window of opportunity the following morning to collect and pack everything before a mid-morning flight back to Lima. After hurriedly shoving the lot into my bag in order to get a taxi to the airport in good time, I was then told by a check-in attendant that the flight had been delayed and that I had been sent an email informing me of this. I hadn’t. As such, I whiled away the hours playing Stick Tennis on my phone and subsequently went on to dispatch the likes of Anna Kournikova, Mark Phillippoussis, Carlos Moya and Amanda Coetzer with consummate ease.

Upon our arrival in Lima, I helped a nun retrieve her luggage from the overhead storage bin. If you’re reading, God, in return for my good deed I would appreciate it if you could see to it that I suffer from no more shits, sunburn, mosquito bites, birds crapping on me, mysterious aching shoulders, argumentative Peruvians and laundry being shrunk in the wash.

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As I sit here, 35,000 ft above the Atlantic Ocean, presumably several hundred miles off the coast of Portugal, I feel compelled to document my travels thus far. Fair play, I’ve only been on the move for about 11 hours but enough has happened already for me to open up my new Microsoft Surface and road test the note taking capability of its wafer-thin keyboard. Take note Apple cultists – this would be nigh on impossible with the oversized phone (iPad) you’ve come to love and defend so vehemently, despite its numerous limitations. Unfortunately, I’m not able to upload this blog as a fly, for LAN Airlines has yet to embrace in-flight connectivity. However, according to this chap (fraud), things could be about to change – and soon. Then again, who on earth would listen to a man who ums and erms, throws in the odd “you know” and visibly melts under the glare of a studio light hotter than a vindaloo consumed on the surface of the sun. Not me. Nor you, probably. Well if you do, read on for tales of arrogant Germans.

Yes, whilst milling around in Madrid, waiting to board a plane destined for Peru, I encountered the krauts. Many a time I’ve sat by a European pool and feared the arrival of a hirsute female or europop-loving, speedo-clad mullet-wearer to make an appearance and signal the presence of the hun. I know it’s an unwritten rule for the English to meet the Germans abroad, but this time, I was unprepared. I was taken by surprise. There I was minding my own business, when I spied a queue. I wasn’t completely sure it was the queue for flight 2707 to Lima but being English, I joined it as that’s what we do. Feeling slightly superior at being at least a foot taller than every other prospective passenger, I inched my bag along every couple of seconds, safe in the knowledge that my place in line was assured. That was until Fritz and his egg-in-bun mate, Jurgen, showed up. Displaying a complete lack of consideration for anyone in the vicinity, the Deutsche duo barged past a petite Peruana to my left and cemented a position just in front of me. Amazingly, neither had read the sign that stipulated that those to the left were to be seated at the front of the plane, and those to the right were to head to the rear. The Germans had found themselves in the wrong line. I say amazingly as Germans are known for their ruthless efficiency and a mistake such as this is punishable by death back in Berlin. Even more amazing was the fact that I had somehow managed to find myself in the correct lane, despite an incredibly frustrating history of getting every 50:50 decision I’ve ever faced in my life wrong and also, being unaware that two lines were actually in operation. As the enormity of this unfamiliar situation sank in and rendered Fritz and Jurgen immobile, those who had been supplanted marched forth to liberate their places and the krauts were once again removed from land they had had illegally occupied. Beautiful.

Buoyed by this news and convinced the times were-a-changing, I confidently answered the Chilean check in attendant’s enquiry as to how I was – in Spanish. Predictably, he replied in perfect English and left me questioning my ability to converse with any non-English speakers upon arrival. Undeterred, I decided to order myself a “vino tinto” when airborne. Thankfully, a beautiful drop of Chilean red found its way into my hands as intended. Maybe the times are a-changing after all. Nope, the twat in front has predictably put his seat back (the first on the plane to do so) and reduced my personal space to something a battery hen would be dissatisfied with.

Time for a kip.

Day 1: After many days of uninterrupted sunshine prior to my arrival, I was greeted by grey skies on my first day in the Peruvian capital. Believing this to be great news for my pasty white skin, I decided to take a stroll to Parque Kennedy – a pretty little park dedicated to the late US president and inhabited by a number of stray, but tame cats. One decided to sit on my leg – my first pussy of the trip. After a spot of people watching where I saw a man who looked like Screetch from “Saved by the Bell” serenade his decidedly uninterested girlfriend, I returned to my hotel, passing a gay chap who took a fancy to me on the way. Catching a glimpse of myself in the room’s mirror, I realised I had underestimated the cloud cover and was now resembling a Swan Vesta match. Obviously, it was time to buy some sunscreen so I set off to find the nearest supermarket in search of some “keep white” cream. No sooner did I leave the hotel lobby than a bird emptied the green and white contents of its gut on to my arm and previously clean shorts. Now looking like a red, white and green idiot, a woman decided to film me as she walked past. An interesting first day.