The plane landed in the fog that is so peculiar to Lima.
Carmen who was sat next to me on the plane explained that for up to nine months of the year Lima huddles under this grey blanket which is know as the garua fog.
Forming over the region it swirls around casting a surprisingly white glare over everything, cooling things down, but strangely, it is not damp. Lima is the second driest capital city after Cairo. I suppose a more accurate description would be to compare it to a thin veil of VERY low white cloud, without the grey damp water vapour that we would usually associate with fog.
By lunchtime, the fog had lifted, the sun had come out and the Peruvians swarmed into the parks and open spaces, sitting out until long after dark. The following morning, there was no fog and as the dawn broke on my second day in Lima with rays of golden sunshine streaming in around my curtains I decided to hit the beach.
I had had a very good night’s sleep, considering that I had been sleeping in a mixed dorm in the hostel and after a lazy breakfast I walked through Kennedy Park and down to the cliffs. The parks with their flowers and trees are immaculately manicured and the tennis club spills down the cliff walk. Whilst I was admiring the view a lady asked whether I would take her photograph which of course I did. Striking up a conversation she invited me to call on her for supper whilst in Lima. Later on, whilst trying to find my way down the cliffs to the beach I chanced upon her again and she repeated her earlier invitation, inviting me to dine with her that evening. I continued my walk and sat on the pebbly beach for a while, with its backdrop of surf shacks and camper vans, pinching myself and grinning as I finally realised that I was in Latin America. After nearly two years of planning, I had finally made it.
I went down to the cliffs to watch the sunset that evening and was totally overwhelmed by it all. Not only was I in Latin America I was south of the equator and watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean