Posted by: Jessie Kwak | October 23, 2009

Rob and Jessie take the bus

I feel like we’ve just cracked a code.  The entire world is now open to us.

The last two times we’ve been to Lima we’ve stood on the streets in awe as the buses whizzed past, painted with arcane symbols and exotic names:  “Tacna”  “Chorillos”  “Tdo. Arequipa.”

“This one goes to Brazil,” I’d say.  “And El Salvador.  That’s a pretty brutal route.”

Today we had time to kill and were completely lost, so we decided to figure out how to get back to our hostel via public transportation.  We asked around, were told to take the taxi, asked around again.  Finally a teenage girl took off her headphones and yelled at us over the traffic:  “See, over there?  On that street corner you take the green and red bus.  Make sure it says ‘Abancay.'”

They’re color coded?  We began to understand.

I knew where Abancay Street was, it was close to our hostel.  This could work.

It did.

We decided to try again in order to get from Central Lima to Miraflores, since a taxi would have cost us S/.20.  We stood on the street corner long enough to realize that the buses painted with stripes of red, yellow, and orange generally had “Miraflores” painted on them.  We got on one, and it took us exactly where we expected it to.  For only S/.2.

It’s an odd feeling to find oneself on the correct intersection in a foreign city out of sheer perseverence in code-breaking.  Rob’s camera is in the shop until Tuesday, so I think we’ll probably spend one of the next few days riding random buses in Lima, just to watch them drive.

I hear that horn a honking….



  1. Good work!! ;) We had a very similar experience in Panama City, it’S hilarious how proud you feel wen you get off at your destination!

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