How to Survive a Ten-Hour Layover in Lima

We survived! Ten hours in the Lima airport between our flight from Cusco and our flight to Atlanta. It actually wasn't too bad at all, not nearly as bad as I had expected. The keys:

10. Surrender all illusions of control. Control is an unrealistic expectation for air travelers.

9. Get a free luggage cart and (instead of paying something like $5 an hour (US) for a luggage locker), find a spot to camp out in the food court with your luggage.

8. Take turns browsing the shops while your spouse watches the luggage. Listen to every music sample on the CD kiosk. Buy a couple Mac/iPhone magazines--in English, no less! Sniff the leather in the leather shop. Pick up some Starbucks. Find a store that sells Diet Mountain Dew, baby!

7. Get your wife a shampoo and blow dry, and a manicure at the spa in the terminal. That'll kill a couple hours. Then get a manicure and pedicure--and shave!--yourself at the spa in the terminal, for a total of $30 (US).

6. Read.

5. Exchange any Peruvian currency you have left.

4. Give money away. The money exchange people won't exchange coins anyway, so survey the people in the airport and find children, service employees, etc., you can give your money to.

3. Eat. There's a McDonald's, Papa John's, and Dunkin Donuts in the terminal. Have at it.

2. Get in line at the check-in counter two-and-a-half hours before your flight is scheduled to depart (they won't let you check into a flight until two hours before departure time), to check your bags and feel amazingly light and free for the last couple hours.

1. Pray. For everything you can think of. For people you observe. For the people you left behind. For the flights ahead. For your friends and family back home. And more. The airport chapel seemed to be functioning as more of a chat room for a few men, maybe employees, I dunno, but it was nothing special anyway. So prayer walking, prayer journalling, and other forms of praying were the order of the day. After all, there is no more constructive way to spend a ten-hour layover, in Lima or anywhere, than to get some face time with God!

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