Where’s my hotel?!…

Sunset at Huanchaco cover

Several, who am I kidding? – Many years ago before I was married I went travelling off on my own to Peru.  It was probably a bad idea from the beginning as I missed my boyfriend (now husband) and spent a lot of the time wishing he was with me.  I did have some great fun whilst I was away and met lots of lovely people, but there was one experience that was complete holiday hell for me.

I was heading up on the bus along the coastline from Lima to Trujillo, but it was a long journey.  I didn’t mind the bus journey, I watched the Spanish subtitled films and my favourite part of the bus trip was when they came round with Bingo cards.  I listened really hard to understand the numbers in Spanish and try and score out my numbers first, I was close to winning once, but just a bit too slow!

Buses to Trujillo

Buses to Trujillo

I knew that this particular journey would get into Trujillo bus station when it was dark, so I had flicked through my guidebook and chosen somewhere to stay in advance.  My plan was to simply ask a Taxi driver to take me there, go to my room and relax with my guidebook before a good nights sleep.

That didn’t happen…

When I arrived I collected my rucksack and found a taxi.  I explained to the taxi driver where I would like to go, but he kept saying something in Spanish that I didn’t understand.  He was getting quite annoyed, but I still didn’t understand and kept telling him I wanted to go to this particular guest house.

In the end he told me to get into his cab and we headed off to my destination.  When we arrived I realised what he’d been telling me, the place had closed down and was no longer running.  It was getting late so I asked him to take me somewhere else on my guidebook list, which he did.

I got out the car and paid the driver, then walked into the building.  I have no recollection of what the place was called, but it looked a bit run-down. Nevertheless, I went on inside and asked if I could have a room.

After filling out my details at the desk I was taken to my room.  And then I almost burst into tears…

The room looked like a jail cell, a concrete box, with no windows and a single rickety bed with a thin stained mattress.

The walls didn’t reach the ceiling, so if someone really wanted to they could climb over and I could hear someone down the corridor throwing up in the toilets.

The man from reception left me there, I closed the door and realised it didn’t lock.  I looked around the dirty, small cell, held back my tears, picked up my bag and walked straight past the reception and out of the building.

It was quite late and the streets were busy, people jostling me as I walked past.  I couldn’t find any other places to stay nearby and wasn’t sure where I was on my tiny map.  I started to feel vulnerable and scared so decided on flagging down another taxi.


Trujillo at night

This time I asked the driver to take me to a good hotel, so he drove for some distance out of the centre of town to a large glass hotel.  It was very clean and posh, not somewhere I would normally stay in my scruffy backpacker clothes, but it was safe and it was clean.

I was shown a large pristine, white walled room, that was a bit too sterile for me normally.  However, that night I didn’t care, I just needed some sleep and hoped to find somewhere better the following day in the light.

Fortunately, the next day I met up with another backpacker I had previously met in Lima.  I told him what had happened and he suggested we try one of the guest houses in Huanchaco, a little village on the outskirts of Trujillo, beside the beach.  We found a great little place there and spent a few days by the beach and enjoying the sights around Trujillo.

Sunset at Huanchaco

Sunset at Huanchaco

To sum up, Peru is an amazing place to visit, I loved my travels there and definitely intend to go back as I didn’t manage to see everywhere.  I missed my boyfriend so much I came home early!  But, maybe when you arrive late, it’s best to phone and book a guest house in advance, then you at least know it exists.

J x

Mami 2 Five
* This post is my entry to the Holiday Heaven and Hell Competition


  1. July 26, 2015 / 7:43 am

    You were brave to go to Peru on your own! I did the usual trip around Oz before the internet was what it is today and managed through a combination of the YHA Guide and chatting to fellow travellers. Luckily I have never had a “fail” yet. Your experience is not something I would want. Good luck in your competition. #SundayStars

    • July 26, 2015 / 7:15 pm

      Thank you! Yes, it’s not something you want when travelling, but then these things give you great stories to tell don’t they?! Would love to visit Oz, but will have to wait until I have more money! 🙂 x

  2. July 26, 2015 / 8:50 am

    This sounds like some of my adventures pre-kids too. We did a similar thing in Iceland and I refused to stay there as it looked like somewhere people got murdered! I would love to go to Peru but as hubby has already been it seems to go to the back of the list. #sundaystars

    • July 26, 2015 / 7:13 pm

      Eek, I would have thought better from somewhere like Iceland! You should definitely convince him to go back, surely there’s some things he missed that would like to see too? I didn’t see everything I wanted, so must go back and I really, really want to go to Bolivia too, Salar Uyuni looks amazing! 🙂 x

    • July 26, 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Thanks Debbie! Everywhere else I stayed was lovely and didn’t have any problems, but that was an awful place! 🙂 x

  3. July 27, 2015 / 9:28 am

    Lovely post, I’ve not been to South America yet but it’s on our list of places to visit one day soon.

    I too got a little lost once in Thailand when I was younger. I think at the time though scary it was also a part of the fun and excitement. Now though I know better, we travel more now but with a lot more experience and little more money so always book the first night in a new place.

    Thanks for sharing on #SundayStars

    • July 30, 2015 / 7:52 am

      Yes, it definitely makes it easier being a more experienced traveller doesn’t it! 🙂 x

  4. July 28, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Oh I loved Peru – we stayed in Huanchaco and saw whales from the beach! I think it was there anyway…

    I know what you mean about awful guest houses though, I am now allergic to bedbugs after being munched on so badly in New Zealand of all places!

    • July 30, 2015 / 7:50 am

      Oh no! Bedbugs are awful! I had cockroaches in the cupboard at the head of my bed in Belize, but that was someone’s house and I couldn’t really do much about it! 🙁 x

  5. July 28, 2015 / 10:28 pm

    Oh gosh, that sounds awful. Completely hellish. And that hotel with the cell like room sounds like something from a horror movie. I am so glad that you found a lovely place to stay in the end. You are so brave to go to somewhere like Peru on your own. I have never travelled by myself and I think if I did then it would be a complete disaster. I love the idea of going to Peru though. Perhaps Mr H and I will go there together one day. Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • July 30, 2015 / 6:45 am

      It wasn’t the best, but Peru itself and the people were absolutely lovely! Definitely convince Mr H to go there! 🙂 x

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