A leisurely morning saw us through to 2pm when we were delivered up to nearby Gatwick for check in - my paltry 10 kilo bag helped offset Chris's that seemed unfeasibly heavy and we were soon passing through the usual security pavlova where Chris was relieved of a suspiciously large tub of cocoa butter - this also relieved Dave and I as lord knows what he had intended using it for.
A short two hour hop to Madrid then gave us time for a good steak washed down with red wine to dull our senses for the 12 hour overnight to Lima. As we descended over rural Spain the orange street lights of the small villages looked like cobwebs on a dark moor.
Lima is 5 hours behind the UK so it was dawn as we arrived at 6am to pass uninterrupted through Immigration and Customs to be met by Guillermo - a taxi driver contact of Dave's - which required a convivial coffee break before we launched in to the chaos of Lima's rush hour.
Having driven in similar frenzies in Morocco this was of no great concern but it was a relief to be in someone else's vehicle as we jostled with beat up buses, delivery vans and a sprinkling of elderly Beetles.
Hotel Castellana ( www.castellanahotel.com ) in Miraflores took care of our bags as our rooms were prepared and we took off to find breakfast near Parque Kennedy, home to a large number of feral cats. The Spanish signs, menus and conversation were reassuringly familiar even if still largely unintelligible but we were soon tucking in as outside the city came to life.
A quick visit to the local airline office saw tickets to Cajamarca booked and we also changed sterling and dollars in to nuevo soles with one of the many authorised street dealers who offer better rates than the hotels and banks - fully legit but it still felt slightly clandestine.
The Museo de Chocolate was full of temptation but we resisted and even Chris decided not to restock on his confiscated contraband but the samples were delicious.
Back at the hotel we were shown good, clean rooms and rested for a few hours before heading to a bar for beer and chips to watch the rugby play off and have - in my case - an early night.
Today we fly at 2pm giving the others time to watch the rugby final whilst I will head off and explore the area - Cajamarca will be our base until Wednesday as we need to check out and load the new vehicle - a Hyundai people carrier- that will be our transport for the next month.
As it is early days the piccies are yet to materialise but this link here will take you to a large selection of some of my favourites from the last decade since leaving the farm.
My daily location can be seen at this link as we head north through Peru to Colombia and then Ecuador with our return planned for early December - this year a substantial El Nino is forecast which may dictate our itinerary and indeed we have decided to factor in 2 nights at the end back in Lima to allow for any disruption to internal flights.