Lima, a way too big capital with an eternal grey sky and with a chaotic transport system… it was not really appealing for me. I can’t say I have explored a lot this city but at least I spent excellent moments there… because the magic of travelling is also thanks to human experiences!
Reunion with Juan
Saturday 31st August 2018
I left from my volunteering in Tacna after some moving farewells and arrived in Lima at the end of a quite tiring bus trip (this bad habit to impose the TV so loud for almost all the trip in the Peruvian buses…), I found my way to the district of Barranco, where I had planned to meet again my travel mate Juan, who happened to be in Lima at this moment.
Barranco is known as a bohemian and cool district in Lima. We had a small tour with Juan at nightfall as we went out for dinner. If it was probably not enough to know well the place, I could at least see that the atmosphere was indeed very nice. But the most important was to catch up with Juan after our separation two months earlier in Copacabana!
Flying to France
Sunday 1st September 2018
I had a transfer planned at the end of the morning to the airport so I didn’t stay long after the breakfast and left to Miraflores, which is the richest and most visited district in Lima, and from where my transport would leave. We then went to the airport, located in the north of the city. The transfer was quick and efficient even in the city’s chaotic traffic.
Then let’s go for one month in France – as for those who didn’t know, I came back one month to France to attend my brother’s wedding!
Let the trip start again…
One month later, after some nice reunions with my family and my friends, let’s go back to Peru… and more precisely to Lima! I had quite a fright at the airport while checking my luggage, as the hostess told me that I had to present a ticket proving that I would leave Peru. As I had booked a return-trip Lima – Paris, I had absolutely not thought that it would be necessary! I then had to go and buy urgently a refundable ticket with Air France, which would let me board. Not too much damage in the end, and I had to experience once this kind of classical trouble during my trip!
24h later, I finally arrived in Lima. I had found a couchsurfing located close to the airport so I had the luxury to only have to do a short local bus trip to get to their place. I say it’s a luxury because the public transport in Lima is really horrible!
I then met Yosbeli, a Venezuelan girl living in Lima since one year with her brother, Yonathan, and Juan, a very good friend of her. They live in a very small flat but I immediately felt good with them. They kept on laughing, made me feel at ease and received me with simplicity and generosity.
We shared a very good Venezuelan dinner (rice, arepas – sort of pancake made with corn flour – and fried plantain banana) while getting to know each other.
How did I miss the crepes
Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Even if the sun was out (which is rare in Lima as the city is almost all year long under a grey sky, except a little bit in spring), I spent a quiet day at home with Yonathan. I needed to get some rest, organize myself a little bit for the rest of the trip, more than exploring the city.
We just went out at the end of the day to a mall where I could get some information about the bus tickets to Cuzco and also did some grocery shopping at the local market for the evening
I wanted to prepare crepes for my hosts but it was unfortunately a fail. The flour was with baking powder and the frying pan wasn’t good so it was a real disaster! We finally decided to make pancakes, which were also delicious and shared another nice evening together.
The terrible traffic in Lima
Thursday 4th October 2018
I had a bus planned for the end of the afternoon to Cuzco. The morning was quiet, I then had one last lunch with Yonathan and he came with me to a bus stop close to their flat, where I could take a direct bus to the terminal. It sounds ideal, as I didn’t have to change my bus! I had to cross the city from the North to the South but I was leaving with time ahead (2h30 before) and at the beginning of the afternoon, when the traffic is still reasonable… and yet it looks like it was not enough!
After one hour in the bus, I noticed that we had still not done half of the trip and I started to get worried, as I could also see the traffic getting worse. I finally went to ask the bus driver if he thought I could make it on time. He told me that it would be quite tough, which was not reassuring at all! I then saw that he was making some real efforts (understand that he was driving even more dangerously) to loose the less time possible. But as we were close to the terminal (and 15 minutes before my bus departure), he told me to get down and jump in another bus just on the front because he wouldn’t make it on time.
I followed his instructions already stressed at the idea of missing my bus, and asked to the other driver if he thought I would make it on time. He (and the majority of the passengers that meddled in – which seems to be quite common in Peru but also has some advantages) advised me to get down a few meters later and run to the terminal.
I then started to run like mad for 10 minutes with my two heavy bags, conscious that it would be a question of minutes and that it was now only depending on my legs and my breath… I arrived completely wiped out at the terminal, just on time to let my bag and jump in the bus that left on time. I would not forget this epic trip crossing Lima, but I now had 22h of trip to regain my composure 😉
I will then not have seen a lot of Lima but don’t regret it. It is not a city that attracted me and what I have seen of it is enough for me… I have more and better places to discover in Peru!
To be continued…
Bus Tacna – Lima : 48 soles – 12,50€ (instead of 80 soles thanks to a promo code on the website redbus.pe). 22h-bus trip with the company CIVA in economic class (basic seats, limited comfort).
Local buses in Lima: from 0,50 soles depending on the length of the trip and the type of transport.
Transfer from Miraflores to the airport with Quickllama: 15 soles – 3,9€ – Excellent service, easy and quick to book via whatsapp or their website. WiFi on board, nice staff. Definitely the best option compared to other transfer services to the airport.
Hostel Passion Barranco: 23 soles – 6€ per night in a 20-people dorm, breakfast included (bread, butter, marmalade, tea, coffee). Well-located hostel with a “Buena onda”. Lockers, good beds and good wifi.