Monday, 9 September 2013

Paddington touches down in Peru.

So, Paddington has made it back to the motherland - and with his ‘please look after this bear’ label still intact after all these years.

Today he went for his first walk around Lima, starting from the Miraflores district, which seems to be the posh part of the city, and luckily where he is staying.

The first thing that hit me - that’s me now and not the bear - about Peru, certainly Lima, is that parts of it are pretty rough - very run down with some pretty shifty looking characters wandering around.

But other parts are stunning, manicured parks and breathtaking views from the coast after the mist has passed which is thick first thing in the morning and in the evening.

Funny story for today then - the first day of our trip ended up in us learning a salutary lesson for doing your homework before venturing out.

We have just finished having brunch - a couple of cups of coffee, a sandwich and a salad.

We ask for the bill and it arrives, it says '75'.

Slightly jet lagged and not sure of the currency as we are thinking in dollars we think this is $75 - so hand over $80 and say keep the change.

I suppose alarm bells should have rung at this stage as almost $100 for a snack would seem pricey even in the poshest establishments in the world, but as I said a bit of jet lag and unfamiliarity with the currency blurred the thinking process.

And the  $5 tip seemed reasonable.

Currently the waiter at the receiving end of this gesture is sipping champagne and making plans for his retirement.

The ’75’ quoted was in fact the princely sum of 75 nuevo sol - around $26.

The tip we gave was around $54. No wonder he looked like he was about to fall over backwards.

Anyway, more exploring for Paddington tomorrow and no more donations to the Peruvian waiters’ benevolent fund.

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