Strangely, I was awake before the alarm went off. I’d only been asleep a few hours, so thought I’d sleep a lot sounder than that. But still, mind churning, wanting to know what was happening at home, wanting to be able to click my fingers & be back there. Oh well, not long now 🙂

I checked my emails & my phone for texts & there was an update from Polly to say Owen had had keyhole surgery to remove his appendix & for me not to worry. Polly’s mum was looking after the boys at home so I wasn’t to worry. Lots of offers of help had come flooding in – thank you so much everyone – & Andy had very kindly stepped in to the breech to collect us from the airport after we land. The update was a weight off, but I was still anxious to be home…

A good few of the group had made it down to breakfast to see Anneke off, which was lovely. The whole group have gelled really well & with the trip being a far more ‘sociable’ trip than Base Camp, it has meant far more time to get to know each other. Some genuine friendships have been made & though out the whole trip I don’t think we’ve stopped laughing – mostly at each other! It’s been great. So today will be a hard day as instead of one big goodbye, there’ll be a series of them which is harder – especially when everyone is so nice!

Once Anneke had gone, some went back to bed, some stayed for more breakfast, some returned to their rooms to pack – myself included. The next to leave were Rene & Helena at 10:00am, so I went back down to bid them farewell & caught up the Mike & John. After the goodbyes & the final pack, we decided we’d head off into Lima again on foot to find ‘Huaca Pucllana’ – a 30 year ‘work in progress’ of an Inca temple, discovered during the city’s development.

Sadly, a good chunk of the temple had been destroyed by the developers, but the remaining site was a vast expansive complex including a main pyramid shaped central temple made entirely from hand formed mud bricks about the size of conventional bricks, & many surrounding ‘buildings’ built in the same way. It was a very very impressive site & a real feat of engineering. Again, when I get home, I’ll upload some pictures of it – if anyone’s still interested! Lol

From the Inca site we returned to the sea front of yesterday for some proper lunch before heading back to the hotel for the next batch of farewells – our own! We had planned to eat in the same restaurant/cafe we’d visited the previous day – & as we approached it thought our luck was in because the sea view balcony had plenty of tables free – but we soon found out why. Peru is very hot on smoking (see what I did there?) in restaurants & bars – it’s basically not allowed. The patrol police had come across someone smoking on the open air balcony of the restaurant & slapped an instant closure notice across the front door!

Hence lots of free tables! We got the gist of the closure & the large notice stuck across the restaurant’s front doors, but we weren’t exactly sure how the penalty worked as when we walked past an hour or so later, the notice had been removed & it seemed to be business as usual, but a lot of business would have been lost in the time it was closed & I guess someone would be in for a right royal rollicking…! It was quite a revelation!

Back at the hotel, Angel had arranged transport to the airport for us & – having woken up – he was there to wave us off too which was very nice. 9 of us were to travel to the airport together – the three of us, Ruth, Anna from Austria, Maddy & Fiona from the UK also, & Bill & Chris from Dublin. That just left the 3 Canadian girls Coral, Brianna & Angie, & Californian Francis my roomie 🙂

Another batch of sad goodbyes – hopefully we’ll be able to keep in touch. FaceBook & email makes it so easy these days to touch base with people all over the world – & who knows, maybe the chance to meet up again sometime. It’d be great if we could 🙂

Then, before we knew it, we were checked in, boarded & ready for take off. 12 hour flight here we come… & it was looking – & sounding – very good from the children angle. Basically there weren’t any near us! Although there was a moment in the queue where John smiled at a little boy & he went ballistic – the boy that is, not John. We had a group prayer & the good Lord put the boy in the section before us on the plane!

My view was clear too – no strange bald head to be distracted by, just a lady with ants in her pants that could sit still. But I didn’t care. My plan was to grab a quick movie (Thor, as it turned out – very good) before inserting ear plugs, donning blackout eyewear & bunking down for the long haul – my body still need to recover from my moves at the club the previous night/morning!

Content in the knowledge that I would soon be home ‘avec mon famile’ I drifted off to the land of clouds, fairies & marshmallows… zzzzzzzzzzzzzz