Chinese Food in Lima, Peru

After passing out last night and feeling sick from the cold, I awoke in Cusco around 8am to pack, shower, and get ready for our return to Lima. We were out the door by 9 to first stop at the Inka Cafe to get some crepes, oj, and mate de coca, and then quickly to the shopping area to get a few last minute gifts. Our bags were bursting at the seems. We found a taxi to take us to the airport and made it there in about 10 minutes. While waiting in line, we saw an American family having some trouble because they were trying to get to Costa Rica but did not have yellow fever vaccines. I was unaware Peru was a yellow fever zone since returning to the US from Peru requires no vaccine, but we looked it up and it looked like all of those Central American countries have a yellow fever vaccine requirement for those entering from Peru. Crap. Crap for them and crap for me because we had that 5 hour layover and were planning to see the canal. We ended up discovering that a doctors note saying I had a egg allergy would do the trick….so it looks like Dr. DiGregorio (actually “Dr. Hertz”) will be providing me with such a note.

The flight was quick and uneventful. Finally we were back in Lima. I tried to stop at the travel clinic in the airport to see if the lady would date a yellow fever vaccine back 10+ days, but she wasn’t going to go for it. I think that was my most challenging conversation in Spanish ever, but I did well.

We had some one picking us up from the Hotel Espana and, although pricey, that seems to be the way to go in these Latin American Airports. We were quickly driving through the neighborhood surrounding the city (which is not the nicest), and then made it into the central part of Lima. This area was not as nice as Miraflores and Barranco, but it seemed fine. The Hotel Espana had absolutely crazy reviews and was exceptionally cheap at $8pp/night. It did not disappoint. The place was a museum! Statues were everywhere along with paintings with gold frames- the place was an old mansion with 4 floors. We were on the top floor, which was a little odd because the 3rd floor was normal and the 4th “floor” was just a bunch of staircases up to individual rooms – nothing connected. The room was small but very nice.

The Lobby of the Hotel Espana

After taking care of the yellow fever vaccine problem, we headed out to the Plaza de Armas. It seems there is one in every city. There were tons of people out along with tons of police. In reading about the history of Peru, we found out that political unrest was not uncommon. There were Christmas trees all over the plaza and decorations covering the government buildings. It is so strange to see a particular religion endorsed by the state…although actually I do think the white house has a christmas tree, too.

Plaza de Armas

Using the iphone we found the Chinese section of town (the Chinese came here long ago and settled – odd!) and headed there to get some dinner. The walk there was a bit unnerving because it was getting dark and I don’t think we were in a safe section of town. We stopped at the first Chinese restaurant we saw and sat. The woman spoke “Spanish” with a Chinese accent but in fact Dave remarked that she spoke no language at all. We said simple things to her, like “1 minute please” in Spanish and then English. No comprehension. We held up 1 finger – nothing. Finally a police officer at the next table explained to her what we wanted while rolling his eyes at her stupidity. We managed to order through another waiter who had no trouble at all understanding us. The soup was great, and the rice was ok, but it does seem as though the US has a monopoly on non-gross chicken.

We ended the night with a walk back to the square and then went back to the hotel to catch up on journals and shower and go to bed – penguins tomorrow!

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