Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Lima, Peru At Last

Transit days are never the best, a necessary evil, but today's seemed to be shaping upi quite well until late afternoon. Breakfast at 07-00 and by 09-30 had traveled the 50 Km to the airport at Baltra. No problems with the flight, which was 30 minutes shorter than on the way out. At Guayaquil, as I thought might happen, there were no direct flights to Trujillo, nor to my second option Tumbes both requiring a change in Lima, meaning going back on my self many mile plus a lot more expense. As there were flights to Lima, I decided to cut my losses, fly there and rejig the plan to fit. Huacho, 100Km north of Lima, was part of my plan mainly to see Andean and Horned Coots and I wasn't too bothered about going back that short distance, so went for it. The ticket at £280 was cheaper than the shorter distance to Trujillo would have been from Expedia, plus I would have to get from there to the capital, so felt I was quids in. As I went to check-in I bumped into Benito Haase and he wife (my guide in Salinas) taking the same flight. Since finding the Glaucous-winged Gull I had been unable to transmit description and photographs to his as the address he gave me was unrecognised. Now I was able to both re-new the acquaintance and get the Gull details to him for submission. He tells me there is no Rarities Committee in Ecuador, and any submissions are looked over by a few eminent 'birders' and either believed or discounted. We both think this is worthy of at least sending the detail as it would be a 'first record' for Ecuador and South America, and as far as we can tell, the furthers south this species has ever been seen. Anyway, that's for the future, for now our flight was postponed due to what they say is a technical fault, but there seems something suspicious about the whole deal. Anyway, we are here for the next 5 hours (at least) so I'm making the most of it! Hopefully we'll get to Lima around about mid-night, not ideal from a safety point of view, but at least now there are 3 of us and 2 Spanish speakers so hopefully we'll be OK.

We finally got away at 22-30 and arrived Lima at close to 01-00 this morning. Immigration and Customs were pretty slick, with lots of staff on duty, even at that god forsaken hour, but it seemed every man and his dog had decided on Lima tonight. Ben's help was invaluable as the so called 'authorised taxis' were severe rip of merchants. One of the 'pirates' outside of the airport got us a fare for £10 (which was £40 inside) and an excellent hotel for £40, at that time you don't want to be quibbling over a $ or two. Anyway, I'm here but hope for not too long. Have already hooked up with a Belgian fellow traveler and are about to share a taxi to the bus station. On the down side there is rumour of a bus strike but we'll find out more as we go.

Hoping my next post is tomorrow and from Huacho, which I have also found is neared 150 'clicks' up the coast, but who cares! Have a gud'n.

and a couple of views of Tallinn, Estonia this week!