Life always seems to hold interesting challenges and for us everything piled up on the next segment of our trip. It started with us somehow forgetting our tickets at the hotel and not realizing it till we arrived at the airport. Luckily, we discovered the tickets could be reprinted but I couldn’t remember which airline we were flying to Lima! I stood in 6 different lines before I found the right one. We made it to our flight on time and put Cusco behind us.
In Lima we found a Taxi willing to drive us two hours north to our next rental, which I had booked months in advance with HomeAway for a month long stay. It was a long ride and I was very happy when we finally pulled into the driveway of our amazing looking rental. We unloaded our gear and rang the doorbell. Then proceeded the most frustrating of experiences. The owner came out, asked us why we were there and grew ruder by the minute. He yelled at my kids to get away from his statues and told us to go away. Thank goodness our taxi driver stayed to make sure we got in. He came over and tried to help but in the end we had to load our gear back up and head back to Lima. My poor children.
It was hard on them because it had already been a long day and they were hungry. The taxi driver let me use his phone to quickly book a hostel in Lima and we tipped him well when he dropped us off. But our day wasn’t ready to improve yet, the hostel had overbooked and they turned us away. I used their free WiFi to find another hostel and we headed over in high hopes of an end to the madness.
Hostel Residencial Los Andes saved the day and we dropped off our baggage and headed out to find some food. This hostel is located two blocks from the bluff with its scenic walking trails and kid parks. We found a place to eat overlooking the ocean, ate and were able to finally relax.
We walked along the bluff and let the kids unwind at the various parks we encountered and tried to figure a new plan after loosing our month long rental. We decided to cut our trip a month short because the rental had been a very cheap find and without it our funds would run short if we paid the going rate for hostels each night. I called and changed our tickets home and re-arranged plans for our trip into Ecuador. I had been in email contact with the alleged owner of the country house and sent an email that night demanding a refund of the $700 that I had prepaid. I am still waiting on that refund. Over the next few days I found a travel agency near the cat park in Miriflores and preceded to plan and book our travels around Ecuador. The agent found us some very reasonable tickets to fly to the Galapagos and I was thrilled that things seemed to be working out. I should have been suspicious when she said that she couldn’t print them out right then and to come back the next day. We moved to a hostel called Killari and enjoyed our last few days in Lima. This hostel had the best customer service that we've experienced and provided tasty breakfasts each morning. The staff helped us out numerous times with directions and were Always so friendly.
A few blocks away we discovered the Crepes & Waffles restaurant. It quickly became our favorite place to eat an array of dinner crepes full of cheeses, veggies and meats covered in fantastic sauces.
After stopping in the travel agency a few times over a few days the agent informed me that she ‘lost’ my reservations and never printed out the tickets. It was going to be another $1000 to get the same reservations because the deal had passed. I said no thank you and asked for my money back. She said it was a lengthy process and would take 10 days. She also asked for my passport and credit card to take photo copies and I said no she could not photo copy any of it and I wanted my money back then. It was very frustrating and in the end she suggested using the credit toward our bus tickets to Guayaquil instead. She insisted that once in Guayaquil we could check with the numerous smaller airlines and find the same cheap rate to the Galapagos and all would be well (This was a lie, only three airlines fly to the Galapagos). I was very tired of dealing with this lady and agreed to the bus tickets.
Later when I checked the same rates on the Cruz Del Sur websites I realized she charged us so much more than the tickets should have cost but done was done and we headed out the next day. Goodbye Peru and hello Ecuador! May you treat us a little kinder on our arrival…