Yesterday, I introduced the topic a trip I took to Peru as part of a leadership program focused on agriculture and rural life. Our first stop was Lima, which was the central travel point to each part of our journeys across the country. So, from Lima, we departed to Chincha by bus, to Tarapoto (the jungle region), by airplane, to Cusco (the high Andean region) by plane, and back home, by plane. Those trips will be outlined in due time.
As previously mentioned, our first day included a U.S.D.A. country briefing at the U.S. Embassy with Ambassador Rose M. Likins and her staff. After the briefing and tour of the U.S. Embassy – Peru, we departed for lunch at the Casa Andina. We were fed one of Peru’s favorite dishes, chicken. We ate chicken in many dishes. This was a delicious baked chicken place atop a sautéed vegetable medley of onion, eggplant, zucchini, and sweet red pepper all lightly touched with a savory butter sauce. A baked and quartered potato accented the dish, which we washed down with Inka-Kola, a cotton-candy-flavored cola (caffeine) drink. This dish is my featured photo today.
We departed for the Corgono S. A. flour mill in Callao. It was a fascinating tour. It made me think of the sugar factory at Ayala, in the state of Morellos, in Mexico where very old equipment was handled with the most care and “babied” to get the most out of it. Similar to that sugar factory, the flour mill in Callao ran three shifts per day, and one shift was set for maintenance of the milling machinery and equipment. Otherwise, the grain went through all of the steps that one might imagine in any flour mill. Before the tour, we were asked to wear long pants, no open-toed shoes, and to bring no cameras. Apparently, I didn’t take copious notes as I look back to my journal. I do remember great pride that each person had in his work at the mill. It was very loud, and there were no women employed on that day. One wondered if that was the rule for this mill. I neglected to ask.
After the flour mill tour, we boarded two buses to Chincha Province. Our bus journey was along the coast line running south from Lima. Interestingly, the coast line was dotted with what looked like chicken houses. Remember, Peru eats a lot of chicken. Also memorable was lots of eating establishments named for their proprietors: Restaurant Betty, Restaurant Oscar, Restaurant Wilbur, etc. I delighted in the entrepreneurial spirit of the Peruano (How they refer to themselves. We had been saying, “Peruvians’). We stopped for snacks at a gas station along the way. One could buy a bag of puffed corn, sweet potato chips, or lima bean “nuts” (similar to Corn Nuts) with a bottle of beer. That was interesting, so most everyone availed themselves of the opportunity. Our scheduled two-hour bus ride took a bit longer as one our buses had a flat tire. I didn’t mind. It gave us time to get out for a look about. We watched automobiles and “Moto-Taxis” whiz by. The salt-filled air was comfortable, and many aromas arose in the evening air.
We made it to our hotel in Chincha that evening. We cleaned up and stayed in for dinner at the hotel. We ate lovely chicken or beef dishes and drank Pisco Sours. We were first introduced to the Pisco Sour when we had visited the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C. the previous year.
I hope you found this story interesting. Thank you for reading my blog.