Recap: my hike to Machu Picchu consisted of biking through the Amazon, zip lining through the Amazon, and hiking to the town near Machu Picchu. What was left out was how I fueled throughout the hike, and well like any one else: I ate three course meals.
Day 1: Woke up early- it was freezing outside, literally. They say we’re going to breakfast– it consisted of toast, yogurt, fruit, questionable grains, and coffee. I asked for eggs and they warmed it up in the microwave. My thoughts: this is going to be a long three days, and I don’t know if I have enough apple sauce and cashews to get me through! (not pictured: the food served for breakfast).
We got to our destination to start our biking adventure. 3 hours of biking through the Amazon was breath taking.
Lunch: we get to this little spot tucked away off the side of the road. Banana and coffee trees all around, river running next to the building, and we sit upstairs on the outside patio.
Course 1: App
My reaction to this was, “where in the heck am I?!” This is fancy and is already better than breakfast, look at that sauce drizzle. We were all completely blown away and gulped this little treat down before asking what it actually was… I still don’t know but I do know it was delicious.
Course 2: Entree
Now, I know when you go to another country everyone always asks themselves if they can eat the food or drink the water?! I told myself after the first meal, I would stay away from “beef” but this entree was exactly what I needed after biking for hours! I don’t care where you go, when your food has presentation as this food had, you try it! It typically always blows your taste buds away!
Course 3: Chocolate
Chocolate is chocolate in every country, and everyone loves it! It may have only been a wafer cookie underneath but this dessert had class! We all couldn’t believe our eyes. Pinch us, this is a dream compared to what we had at breakfast, and this was just lunch!
After this sweet treat, I had a coke. Guaranteed, the first coke beverage I have had in at least 5 years. Worth it.
Dinner: we finally reached our hostel and went to a corner spot and sat on an outside patio again. I loved being able to sit outside and relax listening to music and having conversation with our hiking group.
Course 1: Cheese plus potato
When this showed up to our table everyone was guessing on what it actually was. We obviously guessed cheese but didn’t guess it sandwich a potato. To our surprise, one wasn’t enough!
Course 2: Quinoa chicken soup
If I could eat the soup in Peru a thousand times, I still wouldn’t get tired of it! Their soup had so much flavor! I felt so refreshed after eating this soup (maybe I needed the salt from the soup for hydration); however, it sent my hunger cues craving for more! I would have licked the bowl but our hiking friends would just shake their heads at this American. I couldn’t get enough, I ordered more soup later in the trip!
Course 3: It contains french fries
Again, I questioned the meat but ate it any way. I mean there were french fries so it was acceptable! I was a bit surprised this was our main course–it had to follow some pretty tasty dishes.
Peru Happy hour: as we ate our main course, it was happy hour. Happy hour in Peru is not like happy hour in America. Happy hour consists of a few drinks on a list but these selected drinks are 2 for the cost of 1. Fine print: you can only get the same drink and it’s 2 for 1. No substitutions. Our friends hadn’t tried the Pisco Sour so we ordered that.
Finer print: Peruvian margarita.
Day 2: we woke up early again to zip line. But first, Breakfast!
We ate at the same place we ate at for dinner the night before. Same table, same patio, and a new day on our adventure. One of our hiking friends had a fear of heights and we were about to zip line through the Amazon.
Breakfast turned into laughing about how we weren’t going to let her back and she was going to face her fear! As we laughed, she was probably cussing us in her mind; however, a few hours later she had zip lined and rock climbed her way through the Amazon! It’s funny what a little encouragement can do!
We had finally made it in the first check point in the Machu Picchu national park. We literally were dropped off and walked along the train tracks to the nearby town. We saw a ton of people coming and going, no large snakes. There was this little place tucked away off the trail and that’s where we found the mosquitoes has large as birds and lunch.
Course 1: Guac
Guac can be found any where. The best part about this guac was that I could take a pick of which tree the avocado actually came off! It taste so much better when you know it’s fresh out of the forest!
Course 2: Chicken & Potatoes
If you haven’t noticed, potatoes are a staple in Peru. There are over 500+ kinds of potatoes grown in Peru, which as a dietitian, I didn’t even know that many existed! The chicken was so moist and the potatoes always had flavor. The best part– the portion sizes. We were always starving by the time we ate, and I know I would always think “man, I hope there’s more” but I am not accustomed to three course meals, and it was always the right amount of food!
Course 3: Fruit cup
I think the coolest part of the fruit cup was that I saw our server pick the mint leaves right from outside their kitchen.
Not pictured: wheat grass water. To give you a visual: it looked like dirt in a cup. Also, not pictured, lemon grass tea, it smelled like Lysol. Hard pass.
After lunch wrapped up, we hiked three more hours to the nearby town of Machu Picchu!
Dinner: Our last meal was our BEST meal. Our hiking group would be split the next day. Shirley and I would go in the morning and the others would go in the afternoon.
Course 1: Potato Soup
I said I loved the soup! Potato soup (oh and the wine). This meal easily blew my mind away. Every one ordered something different and the presentation felt as if we were in a palace somewhere, and not an hour hike from the “lost city”.
Our hike provided all of the meals we ate on our hike but I can easily say the food we ate while roaming around the city of Cusco tasted just as amazing!
Course 2: Trout
Not pictured: the other 5 times I ate trout! Three of those times were at the same place, what can I say, when I find something I love, I stick with it! I loved all the trout on this trip! The menu at this place was as fancy as the food looks, and we had the best time trying to say all the words and guess what the food was when it came out to other tables!
Course 3: Truffle & chocolate
Truffle, chocolate, and red wine, a win(e) in my book every time!
I know this experience will probably be a once in a lifetime experience but for all of those who are scared to try the food, just do it! You’re on vacation or in my case an adventure be open to getting out of your comfort zone and trying at least one thing (even if you have it 5 more times later)!
All of these meals look and tasted amazing. They were scheduled and planned out but I can say it was fun exploring the town of Cusco and trying all the coffee and food!
If you asked what I regret on this trip–I’d have to say, I regret not trying the food at the San Pedro Market. The wonderful women there make it right in front of you and it smells so fresh.
If you ever wish to adventure to Peru, please try all the food, drinks, and coffee!
ROAM to a new plate.