A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: johnpietrzak

Lima, Peru

Lima is a very noisy place! Everyone beeps each other for no reason, you are walking down the street and people beep at you! I have yet to see a car that isn´t completely battered! Im guessing that MOTs and car insurance are not a big priority here :) We are staying near the Larcomar Mall which sits on the cliffs of Miraflores. Took the Lima City bus tour, saw the Catacombs, San Martin Square, Mayor Square and the Convent of San Francisco.


We met up with Jessica, Victoria, Julissa and Heidi at the Aguas Magicas (Magic Waters), a park with lots of fountains that have light displays and music. Was a funny night, Teddy and Victoria decided to push each other into one of the fountains and got absolutely soaked. Got some food afterwards in Kennedy Square, there was a small market in the middle with lots of wild cats walking about!


Changed hotels to Hotel Britania to meet our group which we will stay with for the next 21 days. Still in Miraflores and a really nice hotel. Found a laundrette to get our first load of washing done. At 7pm we met up with our tour guide Lila, a married couple Pete and Cath from Cheshire, a lady from Belfast called Doreen who is a yoga teacher, and a girl from Germany called Sabine. Went and had our first dinner together, everyone is really friendly and think we will have a great time over the next 3 weeks!

Posted by johnpietrzak 15:54 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Time to say goodbye 24th September

4am start and an emotional goodbye! We met up at Heathrow at 5.45am, unsurprisingly my bag is the heaviest!


Met some interesting people on the flights, the girl next to me on the Madrid flight was going to Rio to make a film about the music culture there, and the guy next to me on the Lima flight was on his way to Bolivia to study the language of a tribe in a remote village in the Amazon! 12hr flight, 2 terrible films, but we flew over the Amazon and could see parts of deforestation which was amazing and saw the Altantic and Pacific in the same day!

The drivers are nutters here! In our taxi from the airport we were stuck in traffic, a guy behind us decided to overtake us on some wasteland beside the road, wheelspinning up the hill, then got a puncture because of it 50metres up the road! Was really funny! We arrived at our hotel (Bayview Hotel) in Miraflores, one of the safer districts in Lima.

Posted by johnpietrzak 09:10 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

9 hours to go

All packed and ready to go! Our flight is in 9 hours time! My bag is massive and weighs quite a lot, hope we don't have to do too much walking with it on over the next 6 months. Can't believe it is finally time to go after all the planning. Our first flight leaves Heathrow tomorrow morning and takes us to Madrid where we get a connecting flight to Lima, Peru!

Posted by johnpietrzak 13:53 Comments (1)

1 Month To Go

It is the end of August which means it is now less than one month before we head off! This week we picked up our malaria tablets for Peru, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and part of China. There are quite a few options but we ended up going for Malarone which, granted is really expensive, but doesn't have as many side effects and you only have to take them a week after leaving a malaria area instead of 4. After a bit of ringing around i discovered that Morrisons in Woosehill (of all places) sells them for pretty much half the price of the travel clinic! We now have 84 tablets each at 2 quid a pop. We decided to get the rabies jabs as well! We've got 1 more of these next week, our final Hepatitis booster and then people can stop sticking things in us! I feel like a walking disease at the moment :-) Travel Insurance is sorted, £120 Sainsburys, bargain??? and ive just ordered 6 months worth of contact lenses so that i can see! Im going to get 2 prepaid travelex credit cards that you can load up over the internet. This apparently is the way to go, you can pay with them or get cash out and most ATMs won't charge you. Applied for a new 18 month interest free credit card as well just in case.

Ive been hoarding bits to take for months, decided it was time to try and squeeze it all in the rucksack.................it kind of fits!?


Posted by johnpietrzak 01:24 Comments (0)


On 3rd January we will be leaving Sydney and flying in to Singapore. Since planning our stop here ive been trying to do some research because my Grandad was held in Changi POW camp in Singapore during World War II. Unfortunately he never spoke of what happened during that time but he did keep an interesting piece of history when the Japanese finally handed over the prison to the prisoners on 15th August 1945. My Grandad was a gunner in the 88th Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery and was captured during the fall of Singapore on 15th Feb 1942. The Japanese used the POW’s at Changi for forced labour. They helped to build two unpaved landing strips between 1943 to 1944 which became Changi Air Base. When the war ended and the Japanese soldiers left the camp my Grandad removed the altimeter below from a Japanese Zero Fighter Plane at the air base before he left. There is now a museum at Changi which i am hoping to visit whilst we are there!


Posted by johnpietrzak 07:45 Comments (0)

London 2012 Olympics

Had the most amazing birthday on Friday at the London Olympics. I missed out on the ballot tickets at the start of the year and then after 3 attempts i finally managed to get 4 athletics tickets on my actual birthday!!!! I couldn't believe it! Our morning session started at 10am so we were on the Waterloo train at 5.56am. It normally rains on my birthday but even the sun was shining today! We saw Jessica Ennis run 12.54secs in the Heptathlon 110m hurdles, the fastest any heptathlete had ever recorded. The atmosphere in the stadium was incredible, the Olympic Park was awesome, what an amazing day :)

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Posted by johnpietrzak 01:16 Comments (0)

Its finally official

I finally handed in my notice at work on Thursday! Ive had a strange couple of weeks which made this all the more interesting. 2 weeks ago i was promoted and the day before i spoke to my boss i got a bonus! I don’t think ive experienced so many different feelings in a 10 minute meeting before! A friend at work then handed in his notice the day after me!!!! My last day at work will be Friday 21st September.

Myself have Max have a new hobby of collecting vaccinations! So far we’ve had 7 injections and 2 cholera drinks (a disgusting fizzy liquid that they try to cover up, very badly, with a raspberry flavouring). Apparently the Cholera vaccine also helps with travellers' diarrhea which is currently my worst nightmare! For anyone that ever needs to have the Yellow Fever vaccination.....it is horrific! It is never good reading on the information sheet that the injection you are about to have can have side effects severe enough to require hospitalisation! Both of us had a fever and really ached about a week after. We still need to have the 3 rabies injections and our final Hepatitis one.


Posted by johnpietrzak 03:38 Comments (0)

3 Months To Go

Its now July, last month was apparently the wettest June since records began! Euro 2012 is over, England went out on penalties again! In 4 weeks time ill be handing in my notice at work. Exciting i know, but this does come with a small downside! They will stop paying me! The thought of not having an income for 6 months is slightly worrying so ive been trying to save away everything i can.

Our Australian Visas have been confirmed which means we can stay there for up to 3 months. We can get the Cambodia Visas on the border, the Vietnam Visas whilst we are in Cambodia and the China Visas whilst we are in Vietnam. Not quite sure how all of that is going to work out at the moment but ive got a feeling it will be interesting! I have also been busy buying bits to take with me, worked out that the smaller everything is the more likely i am to fit it in the rucksack. Got some useful tips from friends that have been travelling, apparently i need to halve the amount of clothes i take and double the amount of money! When we started planning the trip back in January i saw a quote that stuck with me!


Posted by johnpietrzak 01:54 Comments (0)

June is going to be an expensive month

Everything we've booked suddenly needs paying for! I spoke to a few people about places to stay in Sydney and we managed to get a 4 shared dorm in the Wake Up for 10 days over Xmas and New Year which will be amazing. Not cheap at £30 a night each but its supposed to be one of the best places and everywhere was getting booked up quickly!

The hop on hop off bus pass in New Zealand from Auckland down to Christchurch has also been sorted. Was half price which saved a bit of money, although everytime i went on the website there was another offer so you'd never pay full price, bit like getting a Dominos! The deposits for the Peru Trip were paid back in March but the remaining amounts need paying now as well. We made the most of a 2 for 1 deal which we were told would expire if we didn't book it up straight away. Fell for that one didn't we! :) Since then ive seen the same offer every month! My rucksack arrived! How on earth does anyone live out this for 6 months?


Posted by johnpietrzak 03:46 Comments (0)

Bye Bye Car

The reality of leaving everything behind hit home last week when i sold my car! Thinking it would take ages to sell and needing all the money i could get for it i decided to get the advert up early. If i had known that it would be sold and gone in 3 days i probably would have kept hold of it a bit longer :-) Im not one to blow my own trumpet but it did look pretty amazing after 2 hours of cleaning it (even chucked in a "new car scent" air freshner which was probably the decider!). I reckon i could have bought it twice over with the amount of repairs its had but was actually a bit sad to see it go. I now officially don't own a car for the first time in 15 years!

Posted by johnpietrzak 13:17 Comments (0)

Trip Details

  • 24th Sep 2012 - London – Madrid
  • 24th Sep 2012 - Madrid – Lima
  • 24th Oct 2012 - Lima – Santiago
  • 1st Nov 2012 - Santiago – Auckland
  • 27th Nov 2012 - Christchurch – Cairns
  • 3rd Jan 2013 - Sydney – Singapore
  • 27th Mar 2013 - Beijing to Heathrow

Posted by johnpietrzak 13:04 Comments (0)

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