Category Archives: Peru

Pisco Ceviche

Ivan, Lil Dave and I got a taxi around noon on January 11, 2013. 

We went to have some lunch at La Mar

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Ivan read that they have good ceviche at this restaurant.  Lil Dave managed to get a banana ceviche which was oddly good.  Ivan and I shared the 5 ceviche sampler for a starter. 

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I really enjoyed the ceviche with soy sauce.  Our main course was tuna steak.  It was wonderful food.

Ivan and I walked down the street to El Mercado.  The menu was filled with lots of great things – too bad we can’t come back to try their sandwiches.  Ivan and I shared a passion fruit chilcano and a grilled octopus. 

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Their grilled octopus is supposed to be the best in the city, but Ivan and I both agree that the grilled octopus at Pescados Capitales was better.  The grilled octopus still tasted great.

We walked to the mall that was built right in the cliff.  We had ice cream at Laritza D’.  Ivan and I shared chocolate and strawberry.  Lil Dave got banana of course!  Ivan bought cheap headphones.

Next, we walked to the post office so I could mail postcards.  We got a taxi back to D’osma Bed and Breakfast.

Later that night, Ivan and I got a taxi to the restaurant Cala.  We had a reservation for later at 8 pm.  We went to the lounge for a drink and sat on the balcony with the sea right in front of us. 

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Ivan and I ordered two pisco sours: strawberry and one with passion fruit, lemon and orange.  My strawberry drink tasted better.

It was time for dinner.  We walked upstairs and sat on the balcony.  We got a lovely La Crin Malbec wine.  We started off with a salmon and apple mixture and Lima style Tiradito.  Both dishes were very tasty.

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Our main courses were tuna with a chutney sauce and salmon with soba noodles.  I picked our dessert which was a chocolate truffle tart which was delicious. 

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We had a terrific meal at Cala.  It’s worth the money for the view and the lovely food.

Lima is filled with great restaurants.  I wish we had more time to try more gourmet food.

Ivan and I walked to Ayahuasca Bar to get a drink.  We sat in the room with the black walls and the art that looked like kites on sticks. 

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Ivan and I each got a pisco sour.  We chilled for awhile and then walked back to the b&b.

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Lima Food Tour

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had the free breakfast at the b&b at 9 am.  I took a quick shower.

Lil Dave went out to explore Lima on his own.  He wanted to check out the beach.

Ivan and I were picked up by Sam at 9:45 am for the Capital Culinaria Lima Gourmet Tours food tour.  It was only us on the tour.

Our first stop was Tostaduria Bisetti.  This café picks their coffee beans individually and then roasts them.  Everybody had a cup of espresso.  Sam talked about the former corrupt Japanese president Alberto Fujimori.  He ended up in jail because of human rights violation.

The buildings in Barranco have to keep the buildings in the old style, so the Starbucks isn’t all green like it is in other cities – but the name is in black on a yellow building.

Next, we walked to the secret garden La Bodega Verde.  Ivan and I each had a lúcuma shake with milk and ice.  Lúcuma is a fruit that tastes like butterscotch.  It was a very tasty drink.

We walked to Sam’s nice BMW car.  He drove us to Chorrillos district and we stopped for a great panoramic view of the city.

Our next stop was the San Isidro local market. 

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Ivan and I got to try a raw scallop with lime at the Pescaderia “Sanchez” stand.  We also got try to a couple local fruits at a very organized and pretty fruit stand.

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Sam drove us to Embarcadero 41 Fusión which is a seafood restaurant in Miraflores.  A bartender talked about the different kinds of pisco and then showed us how to make pisco sour. 

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The drink  was quite tasty.

We took our pisco sour to a table in the back.  A chef instructed us on how to make ceviche. 

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We got to make our own ceviche which turned out great.  I made mine a little too spicy. 

Our last stop on the tour was Huaca Pucllana which is a place where you take special guests.  The King of Spain, Mick Jagger, Bill and Hillary Clinton have all visited this restaurant.  The cool thing about this restaurant that it’s right next to pre-Incan ruins.  It has a lovely view. 

Ivan and I got a Pisco Chilcano passion fruit drink which was sour and sweet at the same time.  It was good, but a bit odd to me.  The Chilcano is pisco sour with ginger ale.

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We got four dishes to try which were Parmesan scallops, Japanese grilled octopus, Peruvian tamale and causa (crab with potato and avocado). 

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Our favorite was the grilled octopus.

The four desserts came out next with warm rice pudding, lúcuma pudding, Peruvian-French cheesecake and a dulce de leche.  I really enjoyed the lúcuma pudding and the cheesecake.  Ivan liked the lúcuma pudding.

Wow, this tour was amazing!  It was great to try lots of great food and learn things about Lima.  I really recommend taking Capital Culinaria Lima Gourmet Tours if you’re ever in Lima.

Sam dropped us back at the b&b.  We chilled for awhile using the internet.

Later that night, we walked 3 miles since we were still stuffed from the food tour.  Ivan found a taxi and we drove to the seafood restaurant Pescados Capitales.

Ivan and I shared grilled octopus, Gandhi ceviche and grilled swordfish with mushroom risotto.  We got tasty Pisco Rubio drinks.  The dishes were excellent.  The Gandhi ceviche had a hint of Indian spice. 

We got a taxi to Barranco.  We went to the Ayahuasca Bar which is located inside a huge mansion. 

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It has the coolest décor inside.  Ivan and I were both too tired to get a drink, so we walked back to the b&b.

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Travelling all day

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 8:45 am on January 9, 2013.  We packed our bags up.

Ivan had to walk to the main part of Canas Vieras to find a taxi.  We left at 9:20 am headed to the airport.

Our flight from Florianópolis was supposed to leave at 11:10 am, but the plane was delayed so we left at 12:05 pm.

I was tired and fell asleep before takeoff.  I woke up when the stewards were passing out the peanuts.  Ivan and I watched a show on the laptop.

We arrived at Guarulhos (São Paulo) at 1:40 pm.  Some of the luggage came out about 30 minutes after we landed, but then nothing else.  We waited along with a half dozen people until 2:25 pm to get our backpacks.  That’s the longest we’ve ever waited for luggage.

Ivan and I checked out the screens to see where we had to check-in for our next flight.  We booked the flights separately, so we didn’t have connecting flights.  The flight wasn’t showing up on the screen, but we figured it was probably since the flight wasn’t until 6:50 pm. 

Ivan went on the internet and checked us in and found out the flight was at Terminal 1.  It was a Taca flight going through Avianca airline.  I kept checking the screen and finally our flight showed up.

We walked to the Check-in A area.  Ivan asked the guy at the Avianca counter what time the Lima flight check-in started.  He said 4 pm.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I were all hungry.  I noticed restaurants earlier at Check-in C, so we went to check it out.  Ivan though Bar and Bistro looked good.  Lil Dave got a banana lasagna.  Ivan and I shared a vegetable soup and a penne with a pomodoro and pesto sauce.  The penne was nice and hot.

We walked back to the check-in desk at 4:30 pm and checked our backpacks in.

We left Guarulhos, Brazil at 6:50 pm.  Good-bye Brazil!  We were off to Lima, Peru.  The flight was almost 5 hours.  Ivan and I watched Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, New Girl, Lee Evans and The Mindy Project.  Our plane arrived at 8:55 pm.

The Immigration went by really quick. 

Ivan and I waited around for the taxi pick-up from the bed & breakfast that Ivan booked.  We waited for 15 minutes and nobody showed up.  So, we got a taxi from the Taxi Green counter.  We left at 9:40 pm for the B&B.

Ivan and I checked in to D’osma Bed & Breakfast which is in the nice Barranco district. 

Ivan and I decided to go to a restaurant Ivan booked a reservation for.

We got a taxi to Central Restaurant.  

Ivan and I ordered cocktails. 

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The bread stone plate came with different small unique breads with roasted butter, butter with salt on top and a great goats cheese and tomato dip. 

Our first dish was a tuna confit at 4 degrees which was really tasty. 

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Ivan said to the waiter that we were sharing and they served our dishes in two separate plates and both presented in a pretty way.

We were thinking of getting the Hot Ceviche but it was 79 Soles ($31 USD) since it came with langoustines. We also got a goat cheese cannelloni which was small (one cannelloni each), but tasted lovely.  

The main course was Salmon and Earth which was salmon with a mushroom risotto. 

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The salmon was perfectly cooked rare and crunchy on top – it went well with the creamy risotto.

I knew that we were too stuffed for dessert, but I always like checking out what goodies that are offered.  I really wanted to try to the goats cheese cheesecake.  We passed on dessert.  Good thing we did because we got desserts for free. 

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We were served two chocolates, flavored marshmallows, chocolates (mix of white and milk chocolate), jellies and a type of small cake.  It was a great end to a delicious meal.

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Death Tour

Ivan woke up early on December 3, 2012 while I went back to sleep.  I kept falling back asleep.  Lil Dave went to explore La Paz with his friend George’s friend Martin.  Ivan went with some of the group mountain biking down the Most Dangerous Road which is also known as “The Death Road”.  I was too nervous that I’d fall off the death road, so I was staying in La Paz today.

I walked to Thai Palace for lunch, but for some reason it was closed even though it was noon and the sign said it opens at 11:30 am.  I walked around and couldn’t really find anything good.  I ended up going to a random chicken place.  I ate some fried chicken being bad and forgetting my vegetarian diet. 

I came back, took a shower and went to the lobby at 1:50 pm.  Ivan set up a walking tour for me so I was waiting for the tour guide.

Ben was there to pick me up at 2 pm for the Banjo City Tours.  We walked down the street to another hotel where we picked up an Australian woman named Rebecca.

We walked around the city.  One of our first stops was a market.  Each of us had a fruit drink filled with lots of different fruits and cereal on top. 

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Ben took us around the Old Centre where we saw government buildings in Plaza Murillo.  The Palacio Quemado is located in the plaza which is where the President of Bolivia resides.

We walked to the San Pedro area where the infamous San Pedro Prison is.  Up to 2009, tours were offered to the public.  But, the government thought they shouldn’t be rewarded by getting money from tours since they’re in prison to be punished.  Ben told us that it’s a community inside where prisoners have jobs.  The prisoners have to buy their own prison cells.  There are 1,500 inmates in the prisons which doesn’t include the wives and children of the husbands.  The wives and children can come and go as they please.  Very weird!  I would have loved to go inside to see how it runs and how they live.  We had to take a picture from afar since the police don’t like pictures being taken of the prison.  There’s a book called Marching Powder that’s about a British inmate named Thomas McFadden who spent four years in San Pedro Prison because of drug trafficking. 

Ben, Rebecca and I walked to a car.  Ben’s dad was giving us a ride up to El Alto.  We stopped at a lookout at Mirador Jach’A Kollo. 

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It was a great viewpoint of the city of La Paz. 

Then, we drove to El Alto.  We walked around the market where stalls sell fruits and vegetables. 

Ben took us to the Real Witches Market.  The stalls have silver jewelry, amulets, candy, potions, dried snakes and lots of dried llama fetuses. 

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The dried llama fetuses are used as an offering to Pachamama (Mother Earth) to protect your house when buried under your house’s foundation before it’s built. 

Our next stop was a street filled with shamens. 

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Rebecca and I were going to get a coca leaf reading.  Ben had a favorite shamen, but unfortunately he wasn’t there.  His family member was there which was actually a shawoman.  The shamens do healings as well but these are expensive.  I was thinking of having a healing done on my upset stomach which was still feeling weird since yesterday. 

Rebecca got her reading done first.  She wanted to know if she was going to get married.  The shawoman said she would meet somebody in a year and she already knew the person from school. 

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I went for my coca leaf reading.  The shawoman put coca leaves on a blanket.  She asked my name and my husband’s name.  I asked how many kids would I have.  She would then grab from a big pile of leaves, raise the leaves up and pour it down on the leaves.  She said that Ivan was very lucky and that we’d have three kids.  I also found out that I would have my first kid in 2013 (yes, next year!) and that it would be a girl.  I asked if they would be healthy and she said the first one would get sick a lot, nothing major though.  Interesting.  Ivan and I do want kids soon, but we only want two kids.

We got a public bus back down to La Paz.  Ben walked us through another market and then the black market where there’s no tax.  The tour finished shortly before 6:30 pm.  It was a great walking tour.  Ben is friendly, willing to answer any questions you have and he’s very knowledgable about the city.

Ivan came back at 7:25 pm. 

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He really enjoyed the scenery at the Death Road.  It wasn’t as scary as everybody makes it out to be. 

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He was so tired though from biking the 42 mile road. 

Later, we had dinner at Tambo Colonial.  Ivan and I shared a salad for a starter.  Lil Dave got a banana lasagna.  Ivan got a trout with a chestnut sauce while I had a spaghetti with mushrooms.  It was a lovely dinner.

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Knitting Cornholio

Ivan, Lil Dave and I were up at 7 am on November 30, 2012.  We walked about 10 minutes to help Faustina get water from the well.  Ivan’s buckets only had a metal handle which hurt his hands when he was carrying it.  My buckets were smaller and had plastic handles which left indentations on my hands.  We walked back and it was time for breakfast which was a pancake with bread and jam.  Lil Dave had bananas with bread.

We walked to the port.  Everybody said good-bye to their mamas or papas.  The Calipso boat left at 8:30 am.

It took an hour to reach Taquile Island.  We hiked a short while to the square. 

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There was a building with a few stores filled with textiles.  This island is filled with knitting men.

The group walked further to a restaurant for lunch.  There was a great view of Lake Titicaca. 

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Oswaldo told us about the knitting men on the island.  The men have to show their girlfriend’s dad a hat they knitted and if it’s not good enough he can’t marry his daughter – he can keep trying though. 

Everybody ordered the set menu which included vegetable soup, fried trout with french fries, rice and a small salad.  Ivan ordered an extra trout since he was still hungry. 

We saw The Great Cornholio walking around.  He was wired from drinking too much Red Bull.

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Ivan and I walked down with Harry back to the boat. 

Our boat went a lot faster going back to Puno.  Once in Puno, we took a bus to the hotel and arrived at 4 pm.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I went to Mojsa for dinner.  Lil Dave got a banana pizza.  Ivan and I shared a trout kebab, vegetarian calzone and trout ceviche. 

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We enjoyed our lovely meal with a great hot drink with wine and pisco.

Ivan and I walked to the Positive Rock & Reggae bar.  We saw a few people from our group and joined them in the balcony area.  It was way too hot to stay though.

Ivan and I headed back to watch Modern Family and The Office before getting some rest.

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Lake Titicaca

Ivan, Lil Dave and I were up at 6:45 am on November 29, 2012.  We packed our small backpack up.

Breakfast was at 7 pm. 

Some of the Oasis group left at 8 am via rickshaws. 

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Our guide Oswaldo said the rickshaw drivers would be racing to the port.  But, our driver didn’t really seem into the spirit of racing.

Ivan and I bought rice, oil, sugar and fruits for the family we’d be staying with on one of the islands on Lake Titicaca.  We’re going on a trip to Lake Titicaca for 1 night and 1 day.

The group boarded the Calipso boat headed towards a floating island.  The boat was going 1 knot an hour which is super slow.  The boats have speed limits to protect the vegetation of Lake Titicaca.

We reached Uros an hour later.  Oswaldo and the main chief of the island talked about the floating island of Uros. 

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There’s soil above the water, then layers of reeds are placed which makes the island.  The houses are made of the small reed and usually have to be replaced every three months.

We also saw the women in their traditional dress knitting.

Everybody rode on a boat across to another island. 

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A few people from our group took turns rowing the boat even though they didn’t have to.  Most of the time we were going in circles.

The group got back on the Calipso.  The driver got us to Amantani Island in 2 hours.  I wish the boat went faster. 

At the port, we met our mamas or papas for the night.  Our mama was a woman named Faustina.

We walked with our mama to her house.  Ivan and I put our bags upstairs where our room was located. 

It was time for lunch.  Faustina served us up vegetable soup for a starter.  We met Javier who was Faustina’s husband.  He spoke some English.  Faustina only spoke Spanish.  We were given a paper with words and phrases in English, Spanish, Quechua and Aymara.  The languages are so different.  What’s your name? is Cual es tu nombre? in Spanish, Imata sutiki? in Quechua and Kunasa sutima? in Aymara. 

Ivan and I also enjoyed fried cheese, potatoes and corn.

We had some free time, so Ivan and I watched two episodes of Worst Week on the phone.

 

 

At 4 pm, we walked with Faustina to the football pitch.  The local mamas knitted on the ground.  Ivan joined a few of the boys, along with Anna and Kerry, to play futball.  The gringos played against the local kids and Oswaldo.  Bob tried to play but it was too much for him with the high altitude. 

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Some people went hiking.  I didn’t fancy any hiking, so I stayed to support Ivan.  The boys did great winning all three games against the locals. 

Oswaldo walked us to the square.  Ivan and I shared a hot chocolate with rum which really warmed us up.  Our mamas picked us up around 6 pm.

The house we stayed in had electricity unlike what Mel told us. 

Dinner was served.  Ivan and I started off with the same vegetable soup.  During dinner, we gave Faustina the gift of food.  The main course was rice with potatoes, tomatoes and onions.  The food was good again.  We met Faustina’s six year old son.

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At 8 pm, Faustina gave Ivan a poncho to wear.  Faustina dressed me in a shirt, skirt, belt and a shawl which was all traditional dress.  The belt was super tight and felt like a corset around my tummy.  These skirts make everybody look big and that they have a big butt.

We walked to somebody’s house nearby.  It was time for the Inca Discotech.  The band arrived a few minutes later.  There was a bar set up with soda and beer.  Ivan and I brought along a small bottle of rum, but nobody from our group was drinking.

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Our mamas would pull us up to the dance floor.  Most of the dancing was quite fast.  We were going under people’s linked arms and getting whipped around.  It was fun. 

A lot of people started leaving before 9:30 pm.  Faustina said we should go home.  We walked back.  Ivan and I watched something on the phone before going to sleep.

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Hot Trout

On November 28, 2012, we woke up early at 7:15 am.  Ivan and I put our backpacks on the truck at 7:45 am.

The group left on the truck at 8 am.  It was Lydia’s birthday so the truck was decorated with balloons and a sign saying Happy Birthday Lydia!

Lunch was at the side of the road with avocado and vegetable sandwiches.  There were also vanilla cupcakes, cheese puffs and chips for Lydia’s birthday.

The truck arrived in Puno at 1:30 pm.

The group checked in to Hotel Wary Nayra.  Ivan and I used the internet in the lobby. 

That night, the group met for dinner.  We walked to Inca Bar for Lydia’s birthday. 

Ivan and I each had a lovely hot wine with cinnamon.  We shared a tomato soup, trout cocktail with avocado on the bottom and a grilled trout with vegetables.

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Ivan and I were sleepy, so we left early.

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Chocolate Pisco

I woke up at 9:30 am on November 27, 2012 to find Ivan awake.  He’s so used to waking up early for the Inca Trail that’s why he was up since 6 am.

We used the internet and I worked on the blog.  Lil Dave told us about his adventures on the Inca Trail.  He had a fun time with his uncle.  He climbed up Dead Monkey’s Pass.  He enjoyed drinking banana pisco and getting to see Machu Picchu.

Lunch was at Prana Raw Food Bar.  Lil Dave got banana ceviche with a banana salad.  Ivan and I shared tacos, a Prana salad and mango ceviche.  The meal was average.  Usually raw food is inventive with their dishes, but these were rather ordinary.

Lil Dave wanted to explore Cusco more.  Ivan and I walked to the Choco Museum.  We were given a complimentary cup of choco tea.  Today, we were taking the From Bean to Bar class where we get to make our own chocolate bars.

The class consisted of us and an Australian couple.  The teacher was a man named Manuel.  He talked about the cocoa bean and showed us a model of a cocoa tree. 

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We started off with the bean where we had to roast them until they started popping.  Next, we had to take off the shells.  The beans are called nibs at this point.

The group each got a mortar and pestle filled with beans.  Each of us had to grind the beans to try to make a paste.  Ivan and the Aussie guy made the best pastes.  The rest of the beans were ground up in a grinder. 

Manuel made two different drinks with the pastes.  One was really tasty with llama milk.

The chocolate powder is then mixed with different things like milk, sugar and vanilla.  Manuel showed us the machine that mixes, refines and conches the powder for 24 hours. 

The chocolate is then tempered on marble slabs to the right temperature.  The next step is mixing it.

We got to choose templates for the size of our chocolates.  Ivan picked small ones with different sizes while mine were diamond shaped.

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Each of us got to pick the fillings like garlic, coconut, M&M’s, Oreo’s, mint, milk (to make milk chocolate) and chili.  Manuel recommended how much to put in each chocolate.  We got to work putting in the fillings and the dark chocolate.  After we were done, we put our name on the template.

The chocolates wouldn’t be ready for an hour.  Ivan said he’d be back later.  The chocolate making class was a lot of fun.

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I definitely recommend this if you’re ever in Cusco.

Ivan walked me to Samana Spa.  I had a relaxing full body massage and a facial.  Ivan went to the post office, walked around the city and picked up the chocolates while I was at the spa.

We tried our chocolates at the hotel.  They were tasty, but you couldn’t really taste the ingredients.. we should have put a lot more.  Some of the chocolates just tasted like dark chocolate.

That night, we had dinner at Museo del Pisco.  Ivan and I each had a Pisco cocktail.  We also shared a salad with strawberries, cheese & avocado, ceviche, a chickpea burger and squid in it’s own ink.  The chickpea burger was rather plain, but the rest of the food was delicious.  Ivan and I also got a Pisco tasting with 4 Piscos. 

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The Piscos were very tasty.

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Machu Picchu

Ivan and I were woken up at 3 am on November 26, 2012.  We packed our things and then had breakfast at 3:30 am.

The group left shortly before 4 am.  The entrance to Machu Picchu is only 2 minutes away.  The gate opens at 5:30 am.  There’s a bench that fits the first 50 people.  I don’t know why we had to wake up so freaking early just to wait forever in the cold.  I was resting, stretching my legs and massaging my legs.  Ivan played games on the phone.

The gate opened early at 5:15 am.  The group started walking towards Intipuku (Sun Gate).  Ivan and I took our time and took an hour and 30 minutes to get there. 

It was really cloudy there, so we couldn’t see Machu Picchu.  The group left and we stayed for a few minutes.  The clouds started clearing.

Ivan and I took an hour to reach Machu Picchu. 

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The views were quite lovely of the mountains and Machu Picchu.

There’s 65 steps shortly before Machu Picchu called the Gringo Killer.  It wasn’t as hard as everybody makes it out to be.  I was just so happy that I made it to the end.  My legs were simply killing me, but I did the Inca Trail!!

We caught up with the group and took a great group picture.

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Our group walked to the entrance to Machu Picchu.  Ivan and I had a vegetable wrap and an apple pie. 

At 8:30 am, we entered Machu Picchu.  Alfredo started his tour of Machu Picchu.  He speaks great English, but he’s not that interesting to listen to.  I was falling asleep while he was talking and Ivan was zoning out.  We listened to the beginning of the tour.  The rest of the group took off on the tour after, but we went to walk around by ourselves.  My legs were really hurting, so it was nice to be able to walk at my own pace.

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Machu Picchu is pretty big and takes awhile to walk around. 

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Ivan and I walked around for an hour while I took lots of pictures.

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We walked back to the entrance.  Ivan and I each got a great tuna and avocado sandwich.  The avocados are so fresh in Peru.

Soon after, we got the bus to Aqua Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu town).  Ivan and I used the internet at the internet café.  1:30 pm was the meet-up time for the group at a restaurant. 

We passed by Restaurant Fortaleza and a guy outside said our group were waiting for us.  I looked up at the 3rd floor and saw Jessica.  We headed up and saw a few people from the group.  A few people paid $60 so they could climb Wayna Picchu which has a nice view of Machu Picchu.  Ivan and I definitely didn’t fancy another steep hike after 4 days of hiking.  Some people were too tired to do the hike even though they paid for it.  I don’t blame them.

Ivan booked me a leg massage with a shower. 

I walked to the massage place.  I soaked my feet first and then took a nice hot shower.  I was feeling so gross since I hadn’t showered in days.  I had a great leg massage which was rough since I was so, so sore – but I needed it hard so that it worked out my muscles.  The massage was shiatsu with hot stones. 

Ivan and I had a tasty vegetarian pizza at the restaurant. 

More people started coming back.  We found out that Wilko proposed to Kerry at Machu Picchu.  How sweet!!

The group walked to the train station around 3:45 pm.  The train left at 4:12 pm.  Some of the group wanted to do the 24 hour challenge which involved staying up for 24 hours straight from 3 am this morning.  Ivan and I weren’t interested and were tired.  Ivan started falling asleep on the bus and Will put a cup on his head.  A few people would bug the people who were trying to sleep.  We thought it was rude since not everybody wanted to do the 24 hour challenge, but of course nobody really cared that they were being extremely loud and annoying.  I felt bad for all the other passengers on the train.  We got served a muffin and bread sticks with a drink.  I decided to try Inca Cola which wasn’t that flavorful, but it did taste similar to Irn-Bru like I was told.  I read Private Games during the 2 hour train journey.

We reached Ollantaytambo.  The group boarded the bus.  Ivan tried to sleep, but couldn’t because people kept screaming at Pete so he wouldn’t fall asleep.  I fell asleep, but I could still hear the noise.  The bus arrived an hour and a half later.

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Mel and Franco were in a lobby with a sign congratulating us on completing the Inca Trail and with bubbly drinks for us. 

Later that night, the group went out to the Irish pub.  A lot of people wanted to stay up until 3 am to finish the 24 hour challenge.  I was too tired and stayed in.  I ate half a Snickers and an energy bar.  Ivan went out to meet up with the group.  Ivan came back a few minutes later with dinner.  He thought that he’d be too late since it was awhile since the group left.  The group would already be buzzed or drunk. 

We ate falafel wraps for dinner and watched a show on the laptop.  Then, it was off to bed for lots of much needed rest.

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Inca Ruins

Ivan and I were up early again for breakfast on November 25, 2012.  Breakfast was porridge with a chocolate pancake.

The porters introduced themselves to us and then we did the same.

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Our group starts ascending to the second pass.  We see the Inca ruins Runkurakay.  Later, we see the citadel of Sayacmarca – you have to walk up 98 steep steps to get to it. 

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Ivan and I decided to rest instead along with Katie.  The rest of the group heard information about the citadel from Alfredo. 

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The views are quite lovely when you’re hiking. Ivan was reading his book while hiking. People thought he was crazy since he wasn’t enjoying the views. He thought reading a book time passed by a lot faster.

In the distance, we saw Qonchamarka. 

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The group started hiking towards Puya Patamarka where lunch was served.  The hiking was really hurting my legs since the steps can be really tall and I have really short legs.  My calves were getting very tense.

Ivan and I start walking towards Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young).  Alessandro told us there were two options: to head to Wiñay Wayna or to take the shortcut to the camp.  We decided to go to the camp.  Alessandro isn’t good with how long it takes to get to places.  If he tells you 30 minutes, you should add 30 minutes to it. 

It took us about 45 minutes to reach our camp at Wiñay Wayna.  I heard that somebody had a shower there, but it was freezing cold.  Ivan and I figured we’d just take a shower tomorrow back in Cusco.  I was glad to be at the camp since my calves and thighs were hurting really bad.  I massaged my legs in the tent.  Raoul suggested that I stretch my legs since there was more hiking tomorrow.

That night, the vegetarians had soya meat in a tomato sauce with rice.  Dessert was a fruity pudding.

Ivan and I were knackered (tired), so it was another early night for us.  Tomorrow, we’d have to wake up super early at 3:00 am.

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