So maybe the museum isn’t really the hardest museum to get to. But we sure made it difficult. So difficult in fact, we never actually made it.
On our last afternoon in Lima we decided to visit Museo Larco, a history museum that seemed worth a visit given we’d be learning a lot about Peruvian history on our visit to Machu Picchu.
We’d used the buses, or camiones, several times on previous days in Lima with no issues. Although we had been told they weren’t the easiest to use (there’s no official bus stops with maps, or any maps at all actually), we thought we’d got the hang of them. We were wrong.
Usually you look for a blue sign saying Pradero, or some traffic lights where the buses are likely to stop. A man jumps off the bus, shouts a few destinations quickly and, if you hear that name jump on. When the man has a moment he’ll walk up the bus, collect your fare, and you jump off wherever.
Maybe our first mistake was getting on a bus because it had our destination written on the side, we jumped on, and enjoyed the ride until we realised we were too far north to get to the destination we wanted. So we hopped off and walked south again to wait for another bus.
Second mistake was down to a lack of Spanish knowledge. We said where we were going and what we thought meant “I’m going round Miraflores and then there” actually meant “I’m going to Miraflores not there, then I’m driving up to the shanty towns and you have to get off”.
As the bus continued through Lima’s many districts I was sure at some point the route would loop back around and we’d be headed in the right direction. It was when the bus started climbing a hill to a shanty town, and we started to look more and more out of place, that I realised I was probably wrong. Not wanting to step off the bus in what looked like a bit of a dodgy area for two backpackers, we stayed on the bus until we were made to get off as we got to the end of the line. The sun was setting, and we had no idea where we were. Safe to say I was a bit scared.
Fortunately another bus heading back to Miraflores (the rich part of Lima and where our hostel was), wasn’t long behind. And although it felt like the bus would break down whilst climbing up a hill, leaving us stranded in the dark, it made it back. Eventually. The first of many adventures I suppose, although I hope the others are no more scary!
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