This was my second time in Lima, possibly the least attractive city in Latin America. The arrival was much more comfortable than my arrival a few years ago -- an Adventure Life representative met us at the airport, whisked the luggage out of our hands, and maneuvered us calmly through the throngs. It was late at night, but I'm always excited to arrive to a foreign place, and my brother and I chatted to our driver in rusty Spanish and commented to one another in English about the crowded, roofless boxes that pass for homes in Lima's shanty towns. The drive to the hotel is long, about 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic, but it felt like ten minutes, such was our excitement. The streets became more attractive and less populated as we entered the Miraflores district, one of the nicer neighborhoods in the city. The hotel staff at El Carmel greeted us warmly. I took a shower, and the water pressure almost shot me through the wall.
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