We arrived in Lima around 2AM local time and had arranged a taxi to pick us up. We then proceeded to be driven through what can only be described as a rough part of town and luckily dropped directly at out hostel door.
The next day was spent trying to figure out the public transportation system. We walked passed the street vendors and the chickens swinging in the breeze, ready to be purchased. After some time, we reached a “bus stop” with small vans whizzing by, men hanging out the sliding door shouting what their destination was. Meanwhile, there seem to be no driving rules, passengers jammed in each van until there’s no room left, and enough honking, yelling and traffic to make your head spin. We finally worked up the courage to be shoved into one of these vans, jammed in the very back and assured that they would let us know when we had reached our destination. The hot sun and generally balminess had us pouring sweat in the stuffed van. Eventually we made it to the main bus station and let out on the side of the road. The next bus ride was on a very modern city bus that we figured out fairly quickly. The 4 miles to town took us roughly an hour!
The actual city center of Lima is just as we expected. After seeing the favelas and shacks on the way in, it was a welcome change, but certainly nothing to write home about. On the way home we tried to get on several busses, but made the mistake of trying to leave at rush hour and decided instead to wait it out at a coffee shop instead of being jammed in a bus.
Even after waiting and letting the rush pass by, we were overloaded onto a bus and we opted for a taxi back to our hostel at the halfway point. With prices so cheap, we took a 20 minute ride for about $9, which I’m sure was a high price just for us gringas desperate to get home.
An hour ride into the much, much nicer part of town today cost $9! Spent the day in Miraflores today, stopping at the little markets, trying ceviche, and getting to know the town a bit.
Headed to Cusco today and then we start our Machu Picchu trek on the 20th!