My arrival in Peru

Lima Travel Blog

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 I arrived in Lima around midnight (30 minutes late) from my trek from Las Vegas through Houston.  I read that pretty much all the flights from the US land about this time and that you should allow 2 hours for customs.  This worried me a bit because my contacts in Lima got me a hotel room for the night due to the fact that my next plane for Cajamarca did not leave until 5:45 am.  Here I am thinking I will get 45 minutes of sleep.  Well much to my surprise customs took a total of about 10 minutes.  Now I am thinking that this should be quick.  I just need to grab my bags and look for a guy holding a sign with my name.  Thirty five minutes later I was still thinking this same thing as my bags finally emerge from bag abyss (I assume that is what on the other side of the plastic flap things).  I wrangle up my belongings and was pleased that everything made it. 


I head towards the salida and see another line to get out of baggage claim.  I follow the crowd assuming this is what needs to be done.  As I get closer to the front I notice that as people pass they hit a button and wait for a green or red light.  I determine that this is if you go into security check hell or you go on your merry way.  I watch green light after green light and at this time the gambler in me starts thinking that this thing is due to hit red anytime now.  I get to the Peruvian gentleman at the front and hand him my baggage paper work.  He says something in Spanish and points toward the button.  Everything went quite and I proceeded in what felt like slow motion as I took the dreaded walk with each foot step echoing.  I raise my tired arm with index finger extended depressing the button of fate.  There is a pause, god the suspense was killing me, and it lit green. I looked around like I had gotten away with something as I hustled out of there as quick as a man of my short legs and stature dragging luggage could.


I exit the baggage claim and find that this is where people that hold other peoples names on boards hang out because there were thousands of them. I finally find my name on a white dry erase board and I point to it and then I point to me.  Thank god that is apparently the international sign language for “Yo, that is me” because the guy put the board down and took off through the crowd to meet me.  We do our introductions and he takes me across the street to the hotel and helps me check in.  On the way there he hands me a cell phone and tells me that this is to get a hold of the guys in Cajamarca who are going to help me.  After check in is complete some kid in a uniform comes up and grabs my things and disappears into the elevator as the dry erase guy says come with me.  I act like this happens all the time and I follow.  He takes me around to show me where I need to go in the morning to catch the flight up north.  He walks me back to the hotel and as I walk in that same kid was standing there with my hotel room key and a free drink slip.  My dry erase board guy tells me to make sure I am at the airport at least one hour before the flight.  I thank him as he exits and I head up to my room at 1:30am.

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photo by: rsvpme