What a crazy night. After the 42C heat of the last couple of days, the rains finally broke in the wee hours of the morning. I’ve never been deafened by so much heavy rain in my life and it was fantastic to lay in bed and listen to. If maneuvering with cracked ribs wasn’t so exhausting, I’d have sprung out of bed and stayed up all night, mesmerized.
Someone forgot to tell the morning call that we were on the later boat, so there ended up being a 4:30am holler. Drifted back to sleep for 45 minutes before finally getting up and ready to get out. I’m sad at having to leave but in a way glad that it’s not longer, as the humidity has meant that clothing won’t dry and only being able to sleep in a set position with the cracked ribs, and in a pool of sweat, made things a lot more uncomfortable and difficult than they should have been.
After breakfast it was a short hike in the now light drizzle, back to the boat, and a speedy journey that took one hour less than the time heading in, three days ago. Going at the later time to our original group meant there were a lot more people and the bus back to the lodge was packed solid. With some reggae blasting, brown pooled bumpy roads and plenty of palm trees swaying, the trip back could have easily been in Jamaica and the ambience of it all was very enjoyable.
Didn’t really have the time to visit any of Puerto Maldonado but we did drive through it on an alternate way back to the lodge, so that will suffice for now. By time the baggage was checked in, there was still a couple of hours to wait for the flight. The timing here is odd, as the flight (as with the incoming) is supposed to be one hour to Cusco but ends up being 35 minutes. The rest of the time, seems to be made up with boarding and having a tow truck pull the A319 Airbus out from the gate. We weren’t due to stop in Cusco, but I guess it’s a combination drop-off/pick-up stop and refuel. Got to sit for 45 minutes on the plane during the process, before finally taking off and heading to Lima.
I knew it was going to be cutting it fine with 45 minutes between flights in Lima when the flight was booked, but there wasn’t much else in the way of options at the time. The plane eventualy arrived fifteen minutes late and it was literally a mad dash to get off, go through the baggage claim exit and back to departures, so we could pay the aiport tax to fly out. Why they don’t have the option to come off the plane and walk to the departure gates without leaving the area for internal flights, I don’t know. It’s a hassle and unessessary. Thankfully the bags were checked right through to Chiclayo, otherwise the flight would have been missed. Finally made it to the gate, ten minutes before take-off.
Just an hours’ flight North and it was arrival in Chiclayo. Big relief when the bags had made it, too, and that there was also some daylight left to get bearings and validate the taxi drivers. There’s a board in the exit area with set prices on it, Lambayeque being 25 soles – this was almost double what the tour books had said, so be aware if visiting here (They don’t appear to have an ATM, either).
Sunday night appears to be party night in Chiclayo and the streets were packed, with the music blaring out. It’s more relaxing to be sat in a car passing through and enjoying a bit of people-watching from a comfortable distance. After about twenty minutes, we were outside the hotel. A brief greeting later and the eyes are treated to some very fine living areas and well-tended plants. Unfortunately for me, the night staff didn’t comprehend any English or attempts at translation and when responding with ‘no comprende espanol’, they just kept rattling off conversation in Spanish like there’s no tomorrow. As luck would have it, there was one other occupant of the hotel this evening, which was a girl who spoke great English. We were able to get some basic info and I was able to get across that I’d like the passport copied for the record now, rather than them leave it on the front desk all night to hand back ‘later’. I’m ok trying to translate basic words slow but I don’t think this guy got it, as he just barely stopped talking to breathe and didn’t seem interested in sticking to the key points. Despite this, he opened up a wonderful room, with a balcony overlooking the walled pool and the church a couple of blocks down. After he left, all I wanted to do was sleep and get out of the still damp clothing. The water was cold, so I’m going to have to see if it’s a set-time thing but I did manage to get a basic wash and a good shave, before getting in to bed and passing out within minutes.