Our journey from Isla de Afuera to Lima was overall good.
We saw a lot of wildlife, a whale, don’t know what kind and lots and lots of dolphins. In the end the kids didn’t bother to come up and look when I was yelling when I saw them.
The nights were getting colder, in fact we had to drag our oilies, woolly socks and fleeces out. The blankets as well as we slept in the cockpit. Not nice. Already missing the warmer climate.
On day 4 the wind picked up and as the darkness surrounded us, Chris said the steering wheel felt funny. We were just tacking to go out again( zigzagging down the coast) and I felt the familiar feeling of fear creeping up inside me.
What shall we do? Where shall we go? Carry on???
Looking at the chart plotter we found a tiny port called Huernsey. Some navigation lights but a bit confusing….so in we went, slowly, keeping a lookout as where we could anchor. A tiny island in the middle of the anchor space but nowhere did we get a sheltered spot…so we dropped where we could and I decided that I won’t sleep, too close to the island, too windy and too everything. I hated the place….
In the morning it wasn’t so bad, it was a mining village, poor by look of it. Chris checked the steering and off we went again. Sailed first part and the motored as the wind died.
Me sleeping in the cockpit.
Rest of the journey we motored, saw couple of fishing boats, cleaned our boat ready for landfall and arrived in Ancon. A few hours from Lima. That was our first mistake.
Anchored and Chris went to see what to do next. Picked up a buoy and dinghied ashore to the yacht club.
What a place, beautiful with pool, gym, bar and big white fluffy towels, and wait for it! A sauna!
We had a beer and kids were in the pool even if the water was freezing.
Happy days, we made it to Peru!
Our friend came to see us, and we started to call different agents for clearing in. The prices we got back was chocking. At $ 5000!we just don’t have that kind of money. I started having the familiar feeling of panic as I thought if we can’t afford to do this where do we go? Back to Ecuador? And we had already booked our flights from Lima to London, big mistake!
While we were trying to sort things out we looked around Ancon. A beautiful fishing village with lots of restaurants and here I had my first cheviche. Marinated fish. We saw small fishing boats coming in with the biggest squids catch that we have ever seen. The place had a feel of a holiday resort, it was still warm and sunny.
Outside the yacht club
Checking in was becoming a nightmare and we were advised to go to Callao, the official port of Lima.
The morning we left the fog was so thick I’d never seen anything like it. Couldn’t see more than 1m in front of us. I was worried about little fishing boats suddenly appearing from nowhere but it all went fine.
We anchored outside the yachclub to wait what the next step would be. Through friends we got an agent who would sort it all out.
Without boring you about little matters and frankly I’ve had enough of the mess that was created we sat in anchor for 8 days without being allowed on land. I was going bonkers! Although the school was going super. Had absolutely nothing else to do.
After the second day, local sailing boats started to come past and ask if everything was ok? Did we need anything? The kindness of these people were amazing. They came by and dropped of various food stuff and wine, to my great relief….
On the 8th day I lost my rag and when officials were leaving the boat I picked up our passports and shoved them in the agents hand and under my breath I hissed that it’s enough. He said it will be 4 more days! Well, the immigration was cleared that day and passports stamped and delivered that night. Hurrah! Officially we were aloud to go ashore.
The boat became another matter…..a big f…..king nightmare!
We got to pick up a buoy, go to the park, the scooters came out and the freedom to start to explore the place. Checked out the malls, popped over to friends houses, learnt to do huancaina sauce from scratch and grab few drinks at the club. And buy the amazing intipalka wine.
The weather changed, autumn was on its way and every morning was cloudy and the air full of rain. Couldn’t do our washing anymore on the boat as drying the clothes took about 4 days and then they smelt musty.
In steps another friend who has a flat in Lima, miraflores and he offered us to use it for the next 6 months. Wow, I cried!
Now we would have a place for our stuff but also access to washing machine and drier. Big thanks, Tony and Lisa!
The boys picked up on optimist sailing at the club and we ended up buying our own, TinyTanic.
This oppi belongs to the yacht club
Customs carried on to be a pain in the backside. We had numerous fines for stopping in Ancon, not calling in as we arrived( we did, nobody answered) time run out and we were told to leave the country. Sail out 200nm and come back and start all over again. I just couldn’t believe and understand the mentality and stupidity of this whole scenario
I cried. So after scrambling everything together on the boat, get her sea worthy, pack things away, check the weather and curse bloody death on customs we left.
A pointless sail out, to nowhere, wind picked up, waives were big, everybody in a down cast mood which is not good for the moral. I was sick, puked on the way back and I’m NEVER sick!
Returned to more fines, fine for not closing existing paperwork, for not calling as we came back, bla bla bla, the list went on…..
No choice but to pay….it was getting rather expensive….
On the bright side Alice turned 6 years, celebrated in the flat and sightseeing Lima.
And a boat trip with Miguel on his motorboat to see the tall ships. Amazing!
Miguel, one of our helpers in this mess
Rest of June was packing and planning our trip to Uk. I haven’t been back to Europe for 3 years so I was super excited. We also took all our clothes off the boat as everything was damp and smelly, lucky to have the flat.
School was done but everybody getting tired and frankly waiting to go as weather in Lima was so depressing….
And finally, the day came. Airport and a straight BA flight to Gatwick!
We stayed around friends house for first few days, thank you Amanda and Clive, followed by squatting in our house between the tenants, to then camp at North hill farm in Chorleywood. Let the fun begin!