Lima to Arequipa
Our dinner on Sunday night was at La Rosa Nautica, a famous fish restaurant situated over the sea in Lima. The restaurant occupies an old pier and we have the top room exclusively for our dinner event. First up is a Pisco Sour, Peru's well known aperitif cocktail. The ingredients include a base liquor, Key lime juice, syrup, ice and egg white, and possibly Angostura bitters. We are not quite sure, but we are sure it is potent. Over 40% alcohol. It seems to go down well. Scallops, sea bass, chocolate pud and more wine complete the highly successful evening.
On Monday morning we enjoyed another leisurely breakfast at the Lima Country Club Hotel. We have to leave today and everyone seems a bit sad, since this is a really special place to stay. The hotel was built in 1927 in the prestigious residential San Isidro district of Lima and the building has recently been declared a Peruvian Cultural Monument due to its architectural value. Both outside and inside the building is grand, and the staff, care and attention undoubtedly make it one of the best hotels in Peru.
We do have to head for the airport for our next destination, and we check in with the LAN Peru airline for our flight to Peru's second largest city, Arequipa. Once through airport security we head for the departure gate, number 16. The airline crew arrive and we anticipate boarding soon. However there is no aircraft at this gate. One or two LAN aircraft land from other flights and seem to head our way but then go out of sight. Richard sniffs a change of plan. Another member of staff discreetly advises our plane is at gate 11. We spread the word quietly. An announcer then confirms the switch. This is fast becoming the tour of changing flight gates.
The flight down to Arequipa is quick and a snack, juice, tea or coffee is served en route. Looking down from the aircraft on our final approach it is clear the land here is very dry. We also seem to be passing over a mountain range and between volcanoes!
In the airport we head for the luggage carousel and a security dog takes a close interest in a few of our bags. Richard and Dawn remember the same thing happened with our group last year and yes, it is the same golden labrador dog at work. Our local guide here is Alvarro and he accompanies us to our hotel, the Libertador Arequipa. We settle in and enjoy a grand buffet dinner.