Taking The Long Way in Lima, Peru

7 Nov

Lima bus tickets

We’re not huge museum people, but when we read Jack and Jill’s post about the naughty pottery exhibit at the Museo Larco in Lima, we knew this was something we needed to see.

We’d had a successful venture on public transportation to the Plaza de Armas on Friday, and Lonely Planet gives a good description of the bus we needed to take the Museo Larco, so we set out feeling very confident about our navigational skills.

We should have known better.

The bus system in Lima is…chaotic.  The buses are everywhere, and while there are actual stops, you can also just flag one down and jump on, often it seems they don’t even stop completely.  Some appear to have route maps, others, not so much.  Some are big, like city buses we are used to seeing, and others are just small mini-vans.  The most prominent feature is the man, or woman, who hangs out the door of the bus shouting street names as the driver rockets down the road.

After about a half hour of bus hunting, we couldn’t find the one described in Lonely Planet.  Shocking, I know.  Plan B was to just ask the person screaming out street names if the bus went past the Museo Larco.  Sure enough, we were picked up by a driver who assured us he would go right past it.

As we wound our way through Miraflores, I could tell that we weren’t going in the right direction.  Justin asked the driver again if we would pass the museum, and he assured us that we would, and he would let us know when to get of.  30 minutes later the bus came to a screeching halt and we were told we had arrived.

Um…no. We had arrived in front of a museum, just not the museum.  Apparently there is a street named ‘Larco’ and there is a museum on it, so that’s where we ended up.

Ok then, onto plan C. Try to get another bus, this time asking for both the museum AND the street name (Bolivar).  Once again, we managed to find a bus who said yes, he would be going past there.

30 minutes later we again came to a screeching halt. We were indeed on Bolivar, but not the block we needed.  We started walking, and very quickly came to a dead-end. Turns out, we were on a totally different Bolivar.

At this point, we were nearly ready to just give up and go eat some more arroz con leche, but we really wanted to see these pots.

Our final attempt found us on the correct bus, and at last, nearly 2 1/2 hours after we set out, we arrived at the Museo Larco.

The regular exhibits were lovely, the naughty pottery was as entertaining as promised, and we made sure to get explicit directions, including a bus number, for the way home.

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One Response to “Taking The Long Way in Lima, Peru”

  1. jill November 7, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Lol – sounds that you guys had quite an adventure there. The combi system in Lima IS chaotic. And the way they packed people in together – madness!! Glad you guys persevered and made it though. Thx for the shout out!

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