Saturday, June 04, 2011

Transportation in Lima

On school days, I go downstairs around 7:10 to meet Gustavo (my tour manager) in the taxi, driven by Senor Luis or his wife. They take us to the schools and usually pick us up. I feel completely safe when Senor Luis is driving, even in Lima traffic.

Taxis are everywhere in Lima (and isn't this house a lovely color?).
This is a fancier taxi than most. Senor Luis drives a green Toyota.

To take one, you look for an official taxi and you eyeball the driver. Looks shady? Take a different one. Negotiate the price to your destination before getting in. Last Saturday, when I went to hear the other storytellers, I took a cab. The first driver I approached told me it would be 20 soles, about $7. I laughed at him and moved on. Sure, I was in a touristy place, but that was exorbitant. The next one said he'd take me for 18 soles. No, thank you. Another drove up and asked if I wanted a ride. How much? 12 soles? Sold! That was a fair fare, Gustavo told me on Monday.

I came back by bus. Gustavo and I had gone by bus to the Barranco neighborhood the day before, so I understood the system more or less. There are designated bus stops, and lots of private buses with the destinations written on the side. There's also a ticket seller chanting the stops, trying to get passengers. "Miraflores, Larcomar, todo Arequipa, Miraflores, Larcomar, todo Arequipa..." On Saturday, I found a bus stop and spotted one going to Miraflores, where I'm staying. I got on and paid my 1.20 soles (about 40 cents).

To the bemusement of the other passengers, I took pictures out the window when we stopped. At the time, I wanted to capture the Colonial architecture, so these pictures mostly show that.

I don't know why this says "Forever". I believe that's a condor flying above it. The condor is a symbol of Peru.

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