Well, no culture shocks just yet. Lima airport is pretty well organised and the immigration and baggage collection was as routine as you can get. I’d read that upon exiting the airport, there would be hordes of both legal and unregistered taxi drivers, clamouring for trade. Either 10:30pm is the quiet time, or things are changing in Peru, from the last round of guide books.
I’m still glad I took advantage of the free airport pick-up by the hotel and our driver, Jorge, was a great introduction to the friendliness and courtesy of the Peruvian people. As we passed through a couple of neighbourhoods such as San Miguel on the 30 minute drive to Miaflores, Jorge was more than happy to engage in conversation about the area, internet, and taxes. He was also a great source of knowledge about places to visit in general and I’d recommend him to anyone looking for private tours. Be prepared to bargain with him for the cost of travel however, as he does charge roughly triple the going rate. Because of his safe, courteous and informative drive the night of arrival, we booked him to take us to the bus station which cost $10 – expect to pay $3 for the trip normally. Normally I wouldn’t have paid so much but after little sleep from the last day and the convenience (and really, $10 isn’t a lot of cash) I felt I could let this one slip.
Lima itself to these lungs, seems to be choking under the car fumes and pollution that befall the city. The best piece of advice I’d read some weeks back, was to never put the expectations of the country you reside in on the country you visit. To many people, Lima at least will seem dirty, and it is, but it should never dissuade you from engaging with the people.