Robbed In Lima (Part One)

By BobbyRica | February 15, 2012


I suppose I should start where I left off. If you remember, Billy and I were stuck undecided which route we were using for the Inca Trail. Each route offered a different experience and its own particular set of risks. Truth be told, we weren’t even sure if we should be doing this. It was the first time in the country for both of us, and really, we could just as easily spent our time here in one of the Peru cities and called it a day.


Tourists usually see Lima as just another stepping stone to other tourist destinations. But we got the hard sell. The city was worth discovering on its own. The government managed to preserve buildings from all these different eras, colonial and even pre-Columbian structures sitting side by side with modern steel.

Lima is still a modern city through and through. And like everywhere else in the world, it had its share of the destitute and the opportunistic. I received fair warning before going here that the cities were filled with petty thieves. They were unlikely to hurt or kidnap you, but if you got stuck in a bad place, you are leaving empty handed.

“Adelmo?” I could barely get a word in from all the tropical sounds coming in from the other side. Billy and I were in hotel room, finally deciding to call him that evening an hour to midnight.

5_30_09Lima_Cusco 054

“Hola, mi pata?! Hahaha.” Contrary to what you may be expecting, it was not traditional Peruvian music playing but what was definitely modern day hip-hop. Apparently, Adelmo was hosting one of his nephew’s birthday party, and his kin were liberal and old enough to go a little crazy.

“Yes, Adelmo, we have decided to take the tour.” We eventually got Adelmo’s complete attention, as we explained details of buying some native refreshments so that we could take the Lares trek, and start off at a higher altitude. The following day we went out to shop for supplies and make the necessary accommodations.

This was where we made our mistake. Although at that time, all of us put the blame on Adelmo, including himself. Maybe he was in too flippant and jovial a mood from yesterday. We were in the middle of a wet and dry market, parked in an awkward spot. We split up to buy items separately and save time. Billy and I thought this was fine, since we had been there before and it’s where I had my ceviche.

taco stand peru

We had no trouble shopping. It was when I got to our car that we got into trouble. Two boys and a tall man were standing around it, and they proceeded to surround me as soon as I dropped my shopping bags.

A thorough pat down and a few valuables later, I am down on the floor, the opposite end of where I could be seen, hands on the top of my head. That fool Adelmo did not bring any weapons or guns with him, and he and Billy got the same treatment.

It eventually took Carlo’s sharp eyes to run back and call for police. The thieves bolted when they heard the police whistles, but had enough hands among them to carry all our bags and wallets.

(to be continued)

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