No-one stays in Lima, Peru. It’s just a stopping point before Cusco and Machu Picchu. I stayed a week, and I loved it.
I had my first experience of Peruvian medical care, and it was pretty good. I went to a doctor because of the dog bite. Private doctor. Had to wait three hours to see her. She told me to come back the next day when the pharmacy was open. I did, they did not have the rabies vaccine so I was told to go to the public hospital. Once I figured out how to register myself, there was only a twenty minute wait time. They gave me the vaccine straight away. The main difference was that no-one in the public hospital spoke English. Other than that, the public care was surprisingly good.. It was too late anyway, if the dog that had bitten me in Ecuador had been rabid, I would have had the disease already.
The other reason I loved Lima was the ceviche. Raw fish mixed with spices. If you’re lucky, the fish was caught that morning. Most cevicherias don’t stay open past lunch, because many Limenos* don’t trust it at night – harkening back to a time before refrigeration. I had a bad reaction to the vaccine (as I’ve had before), restarting the digestive issues I’d suffered in Ecuador. But having suffered the bland food over there, I wasn’t going to deny myself in Peru. So along with my ceviche and pisco sour diet, I kept a steady stream of antibiotics and pepto bismol into my body. It felt great.
While I was used to seeing street dogs in my travels, Lima was the first place I saw street cats. They hang out in Parque Kenedy in the Miraflores district. They roll into giant balls of fur so half the time you can’t even tell what they are.
I had heard horrible information regarding crime in Lima. That people only live behind gated doors with armed guards. But in Miraflores, the tourist district, I didn’t see any of that. A lot of prostitutes though. Attracted by tourist dollars.
*Limenos is the Pervian term for people from Lima.