Fiestas Patrias, Saucony Jhon and cumpleaños-in-a-smart-but-not-too-tarty hotel…

Good morning Folks


I trust you had an awesome weekend.
Apologies for the tardiness of this weeks blog.
Monday was my birthday & as a special treat we dossed down in a hotel for the night.
I started to type out the blog on an I-pad, but the auto-correct & keyboard was driving me insane, so here it is, in full.

Fiestas Patrias

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Nipper was in shock after seeing Billy Ray Cyrus in Barranco!
The 28th (& 29th) of July are very special days here in Peru; Independence Day.
A brilliant time to see Lima, as everybody basically leaves the city & it is contrastingly quiet to its normal crazy self. As it fell on a Tuesday/Wednesday this year, most companies tagged on the Monday as a day off, so from the previous Friday night, the population flocked & fled elsewhere.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the age of 16mths, the Nipper’s drawing abilities are way beyond my own!

I’d just got back from the Clunk trip on Monday, so after getting hosed down, we met up with one of Lina’s friends, Sarah, who had just arrived here in Peru on holiday. We had a pretty chilled day in Chorillos & Barranco (one of my favourite spots in Lima, very bohemian & laid-back, with some happy memories of the heady days of 2004 chucked in).


Saucony Jhon.

My running ground to a dramatic halt immediately after the Lima Marathon. I’m not normally a road runner & my knees were shot from too much concrete (& my nerves frayed from too many snarling hounds on the loose!) I’d run my race & basically ran out of motivation.
A very poor & lame excuse, but true.
I’ve been itching to get out into the mountains that surround ¾ of the city, but after several recces I’d drawn a blank, mainly down to one of two problems:
1) Access blocked by big fences/barbed wire/huge gates/guard dogs/guards.
2) Access very, very sketchy due to being in some of the shadier parts of town. Not something that would normally bother me, but these are areas you really don’t want to go to, unless you really, really have to. In other words, much as I love running, it wasn’t worth having my cojones chopped off!

It’s strange. Depending on the area, the housing on the sides of the dusty hills is either the most luxuriously posh palaces (where my scruffy self most certainly wouldn’t be welcome), or areas that have been “invaded”, that is private land that people have rushed & built makeshift shanty-towns, before the authorities had time to say “Oi, not there pal!”
Two very different extremes.

Running on the road doesn’t do much for me & with the incessant traffic, it’s not a lot of fun. There just isn’t any off-road stuff at all, nearby.
I’ve been blindly loyal to Asics running shoes for over 20yrs. A size 13 will fit & do the job for me.
My old shoes are shot to pieces, but when I enquired at the Asics store I was told that the biggest shoe was a size 10.
Just out of curiosity, I asked next door at the Saucony shop, that’s where I met a really, really friendly & helpful chap called Jhon.

“Yes we do have size 13s & they’re on a 2-for-1 deal too”
Two pairs of shoes, in my size, in Lima, a miracle!

Jhon then started telling me how mad keen he was on off-road stuff & all about various races/trails/clubs & that his club, although a long-way-off-local-for-me, did venture up into the mountains on a Sunday morning & I’d be welcome to join them!
Result, but I haven’t run for the last 2.5mths. So I’d best get my new shoes dirty on these mean streets & get fit before I join them!
Watch this space…


Feliz cumpleaños!

Lina’s Mum kindly offered to look after the Nipper for the night & by the magical powers of the internet, I managed to find a ridiculously good deal on a swanky hotel, just down the road, so we packed our bags & were off.
Lina never told me that the bag I packed was bright pink (I thought it was blue or purple), so a colour-blind metro-sexual marched confidently into one of the most unusual, but possibly coolest hotels I’ve been to. A fleet of matt black Mini Coopers outside, a BMW 90 (not a patch on the Honda Cub namesake) & a bright blue (or it might have been pink) Porsche in the foyer of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
BTH (Business Tower Hotel).
The sign on the doors said “BTH is not normal” along with other slogans/graffiti thrown around the place. An old style Barbers & Tattoo Parlour out the back for good measure.
As one of my good friends said to me “Your Elephant (beer) days are behind you”, this is true.
I used to be able to drink, but I’m no Tosh Lyons theses days, but given the opportunity, I do try!

I hardly watch any telly out here at all, but when I saw that “Snatch” (my favourite film of all-time) was on, it was a good excuse for a few tinnies. Followed by a film that I was convinced was “The Departed”, but where was Jack Nicholson & Leonardo Dicaprio (& Matt Damon to think about it).
It wasn’t ’till the end credits that I realised it was actually “La Trama” (Broken City).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Hello, Security. There is a drunken man making little/no sense in my room!”

Curiosity got the better of me in the shower. What was that button? A steam shower, a very hot steam shower & a very hot steam shower that I couldn’t turn off!
Not a good mix after a skinful, but after about 10mins (& after losing more weight than your average jockey would dream of), I sussed it.

A very enjoyable night away, but a bit strange being away from the Wee One for the first time.
If you fancy a night in a top-notch-spot & feel the need to escape Lima for the night, BTH is the place! (But get it on a special offer, as it’s a bit bloomin’ steep at full-whack!)

On my birthday itself, we went out for a bit of decent tucker & I had my favourite scran “Jalea Mixta”, & as is the custom here, the waiters all sang “Happy Birthday” to me.
A big THANK YOU to all the awesome people who wished me Happy Birthday on Facebook, I love you all :-)


Coming to you next Monday…
- (Hopefully) getting the ailing Clunk seen to.
– (Potentially) more red-tape at Immigrations.
- (Ideally) having a crack at my Driving Theory Test.


Have an awesome week :-)
Johnny, Lina & the Nipper

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