My last post described how a missed air connection en route to a gastronomic tour of Lima, Peru, left me in Miami for six hours with nothing to do. That part ended reasonably well, as I found a piece of grilled fish for dinner and a decent New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and enjoyed the little sphere of comfort that a meal can bring—almost enough, though not quite, to offset the fact that I would now arrive in Lima at 4:30 a.m. instead of 10 p.m.
But how’s this for a travel nightmare: Not long after boarding the red-eye that the airline finally stuck me on, the grilled fish revealed itself as malignant, and I spent the rest of the turbulent night, as the plane rattled through rough air on the southward journey, bent double and heaving over the little airplane toilet. The sickness persisted in my lousy hotel, where for the first several hours I alternated between fitful sleep and quick trips to the toilet. The food in Peru, as it turned out, was far more sanitary—and also fascinating.