Last night of the trip

Back in the haven of another Tierra Viva hotel, the same as I stayed on the last visit to Lima, I collect my large suitcase which they have held for me and start to sort myself out. Suddenly I realise that I no longer have the wish to lie down and do nothing so I am determined that tonight I will enjoy myself.

First stop, the Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel which reputedly had a rooftop bar where I could enjoy a cocktail, the sunset, and a cigar (I hadn’t packed them for the high altitude trip). Bar no longer there.


Not a good start so I wander over to Larcoma a shopping, eating, and drinking complex built into the side of the rock face overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I find a bar, order a cocktail and an appetiser, six pieces of a beef mixtures wrapped in spring roll pastry served with a dipping sauce. Delicious and that will do for dinner.


The sunset is spectacular, first the full hazy sun on the distant horizon and then the pinky orange after glow in the night sky.

imageEven though outdoors it was a non smoking area so on the way back to the hotel I passed a small bar with tables outside. A caipirinha and an H.Upmann half corona later and I feel ready for the night ahead. Back to the hotel to change.

I was in the mood for some live music but much is closed on a Tuesdays, especially the penas, where one can watch local music. However, there are two jazz/blues clubs that are open in my area. i head off to Crocodilo Verde at 8.30pm whose website tells me is a block away from Calle Pizza (this is not a made up name). I have read about this pedestrianised road called Pizza Alley in the guide book, a place full af bars, restaurants and night clubs and always thought that this was a made up name for the tourists. Another thing it is known for is prostitutes. Even with the police presence I am nodded, smiled, winked or pssst at several times as I pass through and I know it is not because of my good looks.

Crocodilo Verde is discovered, I pay the fee, and told I can sit anywhere. The place is packed so I sit opposite a couple of local lesbians. It is a great intimate venue and on stage is a female comedian who I assume to be the warm up before the music. I order a beer and a plate of breaded langoustinos. Then the female introduces a male comic who has the place in uproar. It’s all in Spanish so I haven’t a clue but at one stage he obviously does an observational mickey take on different nationaltities. I pick out Italian and Portuguese and then he moves to the German and does the actions and mannerisms exactly as we would in the UK. I ask my waiter what time the music starts. He says no music it is stand up comedy night. I pay and leave..whata mistaka to maka.

I walk back towards my hotel and make my way to the Jazz Zone.  When I arrive at 10pm it is almost empty and it looks like they are clearing up. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice so I ask if there is any live music. Yes it will start at 10.30. Perfect so I order a beer and sure enogh a young band starts to set up. Latin American reggae with great saxophonist. This was followed by a heavier less subtle reggae band, but also good. The club had filled considerably during the music although from what I could see most knew each other i.e. friends and family of the bands. Nevertheless it was a good last night.

I fell into bed and woke at 8am without having to get up for one of my high altitude pees. Everything back to normal.


It is now Tuesday morning and I still dont feel 100% . I cant really describe the problem other than a general malaise, slight headache, breathlessness and an overall feeling that everything is too much effort. Add to that the sun at altitude has also affected my gut and we are not in a good place for the hours drive to the airport at Juliaca.

The taxi driver is good but it is a long straight busy road and there are some whiteknuckle overtaking manoeuvres along the way. Then we come across one that didnt make it. The car had gone off the road and rolled. Looked like no casualties though. A few minutes later and an SUV in front of us had pulled up and a female passenger was vomiting beside the road. I am feeeling so good!!

Juliaco is a town the train passed through as is rough. The taxi has to travel through the centre of town to get to the airport and its a case of doors locked and hang on to your bags.

image.jpegJuliaca airport is another of the superlatives I have encountered on the trip. It is the world seventh highest airporst at 3826 mtrs above sea level. Because the air is much thinner at this level the runway needs to be extra long. Knowing this at the beginning of my journey I timed the take off point at sea level. From the start to take off this took 28 seconds. Here it took a worrying 41 seconds!!!

I slept most of the way to Lima where on arrival I couldn’t immediately feel the sea level benefit probably because I had moved from a pleasant 18 c to a stifling 30 c.

Off to Lima

In two weeks time, I will fly out to Lima at the start of another solo post-retirement trip. I will travel around Argentina, Chile and Peru, visiting places that, for me, have always held a fascination.

glacier-trekThe planning has not been without its problems as flights have been modified or cancelled and one planned excursion has been ruled out as I am deemed to be too old. A mini trek on the advancing Perito Moreno glacier is limited to those under the age of 65, an age limit which is apparently strictly enforced. This is a problem with advancing years and a reason to do as much as possible before one reaches the arbitrary three score years and ten, when hiring a car and getting travel insurance becomes either more difficult or more expensive.

In the links above I mapped my itinerary, resurrected blogs from previous trips, and listed some travel tips which may be helpful to other solo oldies.

This is the first post for my new trip and I hope to be able to share my experiences with you along the way.