Tag Archives: Love

One Direction – Journey In Peru

I said goodbye to my companions who had travelled with me from Ollantaytambo. They were heading straight to Lima from Cuzco airport. We kept in touch by text until they stepped aboard their plane.

On my final night I treated myself to a room in what was considered to be a posh hotel in Cuzco. My companions told me it was the chain in which ‘One Direction’ (band) had stayed when touring Lima. The room I was shown however, had a dismal view of an internal concrete chamber. I enquired if there could be another option available. The staff were reassuring and asked if I could wait twenty minutes. I was astounded by the outcome after being escorted to my room. I had been given the Presidential Suite with a view of the entire Plaza De Armas of Cuzco!

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

Plaza De Armas Cuzco Peru

I was so thrilled I took photos of the room and sent them to my friends saying ‘I think I’m ‘One Direction’!’ As I sat in amazement looking out the window at the stunning view of the Inca capital my brain grappled with the reward it was receiving.

Cuzco City Peru

Cuzco City Peru

I most definitely had been lured by some other-worldly force, to visit this country of Peru. I had written uncontrollably from the moment of my first arrival, the year previous to this, completing my first ever novel. I had subsequently stepped into the pages of my own book, having created a curiosity in terms of a sequel.

Fact and fiction had become inter-twined. I yearned, as much as Kitty Clinch or any other fictional character, for an adventure of my own. What makes a heroine? Is it the things she would do for love, real love? And does anyone on this planet know what that truly is? I can safely say there are a great many people, men as well as women, aching to know the answer to this question. And of the love that lies within, can it ever find you, if you feign defeat against the haunting conflict of your past?

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

The view from my presidential suite pulsed with a sensation of terrific reality. Was I proud of Kitty Clinch or was it that she was proud of me? For four months I had observed her whilst sitting at a tiny desk in my rented bedroom in Dublin, with a hot water bottle on my lap and the cold breeze nipping at my fingers as I typed beside a draughty window.

Cuzco Capital Of The Incas

Cuzco Capital Of The Incas

Incredibly, this character had inspired me to arrive at this grand position of observation. The whole city of Cuzco was spread out before my eyes. Christ stood, with outstretched arms, between the elevated Inca temples of the Sun and the Moon. The memories of my visits to both of these locations were cancelling each other out with the intensity of opposite emotions. I felt like an Inca Chief standing there and I’m proud to be the teller of the tale.

Christ in Cuzco

Christ in Cuzco

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

© Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Dear Reader,

I am preparing to publish my blog as a mini-novel and introduction to my original novel inspired by my first Journey In Peru. I am really grateful to the readers who have taken time to ‘like’ my posts and especially those who have contacted me tell me how much they have enjoyed my writing. Your comments are very much appreciated. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of ‘Journey In Peru’ please stay tuned in the coming weeks and all will be revealed.

Kind regards,

Kitty Clinch (oops!) Caroline Cunningham

Without Me – Journey In Peru

Before leaving the ‘Beautiful People’ of Patacancha, it was incumbent that I should purchase some items of their traditional craft. I had been gifted the experience of a bygone era, diminished now from my own culture. It wasn’t so long ago that my own grandmother picked stones and potatoes harrowingly in the fields and a time when we had not so many creature comforts but this community thrived in its unaffectedness in an era of modern prosperity without much apparent desire for transformation.

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

With my little bits of Patacancha stored within my pockets, I climbed upon the motorbike, sat between my friends, Alex and Maria, and prepared myself for the journey back to Ollantaytambo. It was quite tricky on the downward trek. The mud had thickened and a truck had over-turned blocking our path. We waited a while . It was interesting to see how the men were dealing with the situation. Chains and vehicles were employed. A solution was imminent. But we were intent on getting home. Alex decided that he could make it solo if we could endeavour to meet him, on foot, beyond the obstacle.

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

My pretty golden ballerina shoes were already destroyed from the mud. I dismounted the motorbike and clung once more like a ninny to Maria. We made it to the other side and soon were on our way, downhill towards Ollantaytambo.

And how I remember it now. It was upon us to be arriving before the thick of darkness. Darkness was fast descending. The Patacancha River paid no heed to the light reduction, it simply gushed and rolled over rocks towards its counterpart, the Urubamba River, intent on its Amazonian arrival.

Patacancha River Peru

Patacancha River Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

The air wetted itself completely. I hid my hands in the pockets of Alex’s jacket, concerned for his well-being on our ride against an increasingly freezing cold. We were whipped with sleet for the immediate part of our ride. Further down I became dull to the effects of it. I was more so haunted by the landscape. Here I was remembering a dream, a place I knew from distance memory, long before my arrival in this existence. I couldn’t explain it, except, it pierced me deeply with its intensity. I clung to my friend, realising, more than ever, how much he had come to mean to me.

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

He accepted me, a stranger, only two months ago, to help in his cafe. We had worked in close proximity, at first incapacitated by the barrier of language. Somehow a very special kinship had grown between us. I had always cherished that blessing he bestowed on me in the mornings when he greeted me upon arrival at the cafe. A benediction of appropriate kisses and afterwards the getting on with work and serving of customers.

He was half my age and locals would have considered him quite a catch in terms of his business acumen. In fairness to his manliness he had checked my susceptibility on two occasions as to whether I might like to join him for a drink.

To me he was an unknown entity. I had observed the reactions of some of the Peruvian men, passersby, with whom my friend was acquainted. There were times when they would go outside to have a chat and when they re-entered the cafe, it was apparent I had been the topic of their conversation. ‘Alex is a macho man!’ one older comrade remarked to me. Another bloke, much younger altogether, was not so inclined to hide his interest in the situation. In fact I was appalled at his sliminess, especially considering his good-looking, non-Peruvian girlfriend, sat right next to him as he challenged me suggestively with his eyes. I understood his preference for the wearing of loose pants. Alex also appeared to be quite uncomfortable by this fellows taunting demeanour.

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

He sometimes brought me exotic fruit and we kept each other company on evenings when all was quiet in the cafe and always I helped when it was required, even after I had officially given my notice of redundancy and emergence as travel writer.

But we were of different worlds entirely. Deep down I knew I could not expect this man to ever comprehend my own complexities. He deserved a much simpler path. I had my own ambitions for him. I could see it all before him, a beautiful young wife, some children, lots of prosperity with his business and just happiness all around. I was not a part of this dream. He would have to find it without me.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Ollantaytambo Peru

As we drew nearer to our destination, the same dog remembered to bite at our ankles and I reminded Alex to avoid the uncovered sizeable chamber in the road. We came to Ollantaytambo at the fall of night. Felipe, friend of Alex, was waiting to take our place on the back of the motorbike. Off they sped.

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

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Waiting – Journey In Peru

The station in Machu Picchu town was over-crowded and stuffy. Groups of people piled together leaving little space for manoeuvre. Around me, the snippets of many languages, Italian, Spanish, French and Hebrew, lots of people with lots to say, most likely about their visit to the ‘Lost City Of The Inca’s’.

Train Station Machu Picchu Town

Train Station Machu Picchu Town

I clambered around the masses looking for signs of an official with information. Eventually I grasped what was happening. A train had malfunctioned. There were also rumours of a minor landslide affecting a part of the tracks. Whatever the story, there were imminent delays of at least two hours.

Machu Picchu Train Station

Machu Picchu Train Station

Because of the uncertainty, it was necessary to stay close to the station. I went outside. The air was cooling rapidly, a feature of being surrounded at close range by towering peaks.

Train Station Machu Picchu

Train Station Machu Picchu

A year ago I was one of those bunches of touring groups, exhilarated by the wonders of Peru, a country mostly known around the world solely for its famous mountain. Those who take the time to visit usually discover Peru is a country of many treasures such as the floating islands on Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines and the ‘Living Inca Museum’ of Ollantaytambo, now my Peruvian home.

Flowers at Machu Picchu Station

Flowers at Machu Picchu Station

I did not feel like a tourist here and I knew I would never quite belong to this country either. It was an in between place. Just like waiting at the station for the right train. I had to wait. In my life, whilst I chose a path less travelled, I also had to wait. When you don’t know when your train is coming, that ‘wait’ can sometimes cause impatience unless you can find something useful to do meanwhile.

Flowers at Machu Picchu Station

Flowers at Machu Picchu Station

This is exactly how my life had been. I had waited, not without doing, for almost 14 years at this point. Sure, there had been huge transformation but still lots of waiting. And that nearly drove me insane.

Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town

I had to move eventually. I decided that moving far away was better than a stone’s throw. I wasn’t sorry. To be true to myself, outside of my usual reference points and without any other influence, particularly of those who are used to wielding their authority, this was a worthwhile test of self.

Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town

I was making a very new and exciting discovery. I was stronger than I had realized. I had gained much respect amongst the people I had befriended here and this without doing anything that I would have regarded as amazing. I was simply being myself. I didn’t try to please anyone or seek their approval.

Machu Picchu Town

Machu Picchu Town

I dared the lion in his den with regards to an emotional vulnerability and I lost. In hindsight, it was a brilliant exercise because it taught me to handle grief. It takes a lot of practice, especially if grief is mishandled from an early age.

Inca and Condor Machu Picchu Town

Inca and Condor Machu Picchu Town

There are many roads to freedom, this was mine. There was a prize waiting for me but first I had to take the train back to Ollantaytambo and finish out the remainder of my journey in Peru.

Trains in Peru, to the best of my knowledge, are usually quite efficient! (o;

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

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Machu Picchu Strikes A Blow – Journey In Peru

At 4.15am, Henry, in his sleepy state, unlocked the door and wished me well for my trip. I stepped into the darkness and directed myself towards the train station, hushed in silence, passing other moving bodies along the way.

Train To Machu Picchu

Train To Machu Picchu

Train To Machu Picchu - Journey In Peru

Train To Machu Picchu – Journey In Peru

I found my seat in the allotted carriage and watched some other passengers taking photos of each other. I had my packed lunch from the Coffee Tree and my rain coat. A week of unexpected rain had passed but the skies were not yet completely clear.

At last the train began to glide slowly through the flat floor of the valley, with the Urubamba river alongside on the left and neat, green, peaceful fields on the right. The towering mountains draped the scene and somewhere amongst them was the enshrined city of Machu Picchu or ‘MaPi’ as it was affectionately known by local Peruvians.

Early Morning Aguas Calientes Peru

Early Morning Aguas Calientes Peru

I arrived in Machu Picchu town, (also known as Aguas Calientes) at 6a.m. It was much quieter than I had expected, based on my visit the previous year as part of a holiday tour. The air was slightly warmer than that of Ollantaytambo, perhaps due to the lower altitude and jungle terrain. There was a sweet floral perfume in the air and clumps of mist were visible not far above. The mountain was at its closest. Looking upwards you could not detect its beginnings.

Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes Peru

Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes Peru

Without waiting further I crossed a wooden bridge and found the place to purchase my ticket for the mini-bus that would take me to the entrance of the Inca citadel. An elderly Peruvian woman in modest attire boarded and sat near me at the back of the bus. She was solemn in her silence, she too was taking pilgrimage.

Machu Picchu Entrance

Machu Picchu Entrance

My anticipation heighted as the bus rounded the sharp steep bends delivering me to the top of the mountain. Once my passport was checked I made my entrance. I went without the services of a tour guide this time. I decided to explore the path to the Sun Gate ‘Inti Punku’ instead. I passed the signs hailing the work of Hiram Bingham, the explorer credited with exposing the ‘Lost Inca City’ and found the path to Inti Punku.

Along the Inca Path Machu Picchu Peru

Along the Inca Path Machu Picchu Peru

My rain coat kept out the clinging mist as I took care on the stone path which was wet and slippy. Even at close range the glory of Machu Picchu was at this hour unrevealed. I decided not to look behind until I reached Inti Punku, hoping the skies would clear by then. The walk was longer than I had anticipated, at least an hour. I met very few travellers on the path. I stopped sometimes to observe cute little birds, lamas, beautiful orchids and trees.

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Llamas at Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Flora

Machu Picchu Flora

Birds at Machu Picchu

Birds at Machu Picchu

Mach Picchu Nature and Hertiage

Mach Picchu Nature and Hertiage

At last, in the distance, was the platform of the Sun Gate, the entrance to Machu Picchu for those arriving from the Inca Trail. The path was steeper there so I stopped briefly for a break and to adjust my attire. What happened next was sudden and shocking. I banged my head off a piece of rock jutting out just before me. I’m baffled as to how I didn’t notice it, being so large, but I suppose I had been watching the stones beneath my feet rather than above and my range of vision had been hampered by the hood of my rain jacket.

Mind The Rock - Machu Picchu

Mind The Rock – Machu Picchu

Winding Road to Inca Citadel as seen from Sun Gate

Winding Road to Inca Citadel as seen from Sun Gate

Misty Morning at Machu Picchu - View from Inti Punku

Misty Morning at Machu Picchu – View from Inti Punku

For some minutes I was dazed. Apart from the physical smart of the impact, the emotional hurt that it triggered went far deeper. Every wrong-doing against my being sprang forth with a vengeance to taunt me. How could a sacred mountain, a world wonder, do this to me? After all the trials and tribulations I had come through, this visit was to be the souls caress, a memory to cherish in times of future trials. The Inca’s were regarded as a genius race. Which genius amongst them had considered the placement of this particular rock, which caused me such pain?

I wiped tears from my eyes and grappled with the shock of it. With weaker steps I climbed to the Sun Gate. A guard was standing there, a Peruvian man whose job is it to ensure that people respect the rules of preservation. I was concerned about the blow to my head in case of concussion later on and being conscious of the long walk I would probably make alone back to the citadel. I debated telling the guard about my accident, fearful that, if I needed medical attention I might be stretchered off the mountain and completely miss out on the day’s adventure.

Approaching Machu Picchu Citadel from Inti Punku

Approaching Machu Picchu Citadel from Inti Punku

He must have sensed my apprehension as he approached me and enquired if I was OK. He spoke to me in Spanish. I attempted to tell him about my accident but I didn’t know all the words to describe accurately what had happened. I relied on actions and words that implied ‘sore head’. He didn’t understand me. I got a little upset and had to walk away until my frustration subsided.

Eventually he came and stood beside me once more, He offered me his biscuits and chatted to me. He talked about the Inca Trail and told me he had spotted a bear in this particular spot earlier that year. He asked me where I was from and about my travels and was curious as to how I came to be travelling alone. And most his most curious question of all ‘why aren’t you married?’!!! I

‘Because I’m an artist!’ I replied more indignantly now, getting tired of this question and assumption that being married is some kind of life aim that guarantees eternal bliss. It was not fair to say that being an artist denies a person of the ability to be married. It was perhaps more true to say ‘because I’m a woman and I’m an artist.’

Maybe I am wrong to assume that my sensitivities as a woman were common to other women. Love, in the romantic sense, was something I regarded to be so precious and rare that if I were to find it, my artistic dreams might suffer and since I had not yet developed a healthy trust for the opposite sex, I was doubly wary of wandering into that realm.

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

I had already been burnt from what I thought would be a simpler option. It did not matter to me if the one I loved was rich or poor so long as love was a mutual devotion. I had risked for the first time ever to see how strong I was in being true to myself and to see if love indeed could be available to me. But love was with-held and to top it all, a Sacred Mountain decided that I needed to learn some additional heart lesson by inflicting further pain upon me.

Flora at Machu Picchu

Flora at Machu Picchu

I spared the guard of my reasoning. His life was obviously a lot simpler than this, he certainly seemed content. It was best to preserve his condition.

Wild Star Landing - Journey In Peru

Wild Star Landing – Journey In Peru

The forest cloud wafted in snake like fashion above and around the citadel below. I didn’t get a clear photograph after all of that. I was keen to return to the heart of it and continue my exploration of the temples and houses and astronomy sites.

MaPi - Machu Picchu Peru

MaPi – Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

The sun never managed to completely wipe away the mist that day and as the ground was wet, it was necessary to keep moving. I stayed as long as possible soaking up the stillness and awesomeness of the depth of the valley below and the towering peaks that surrounded the citadel at close range.

Author Of Wild Star Landing

Author Of Wild Star Landing

Machu Picchu Peru

Machu Picchu Peru

We parted company. Despite the blow, I was grateful for the opportunity to return a second time to this spiritual place which I carry within me. And the lesson? Being too careful with my feet caused me not to look up to see the rock that was waiting for me. Or maybe I accredited too much perfection to the Inca race. They were human after all. And I got over it eventually.

Temple Of The Sun - Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun – Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun - Machu Picchu

Temple Of The Sun – Machu Picchu

Journey In Peru - Wild Star Landing

Journey In Peru – Wild Star Landing

©Caroline Cunningham Author Of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

Best Travel Blog (Personal) 2015 Irish Blog Awards

 

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Soul Town Woman – Journey In Peru

From here-on-in it was becoming apparent that a town was trying to claim me. Some people are lucky to find a soul mate. I unearthed a soul-town. The folk I had befriended were intent on my remaining amongst them. For the rest of my allotted time in Peru, they tried every angle they could think of to persuade me that my life was intended to be played out amongst them.

Journey In Peru

Journey In Peru

My first suspicion was aroused following the conversation about the car parked outside the door of my hosts hotel. It was the car of the Peruvian gentleman whom I had accompanied to Casa De Anna the evening before. My friend Henry repeated, a number of times, the fact that it was good to have a car. I should take advantage of the man with the car it seemed. You can go far with a car for sure.

Nazca Lines Peru - Wild Star Landing

At first, I could be fooled to thinking that he had my touristic interests at heart. But he was whispering the words to me in such a way, as to convey, that there was a real opportunity to be made here. I began to wonder if the visit to Casa De Anna had in fact been a set up.

The car was much nicer than this one (o'

The car was much nicer than this one (o’

I was out of there on foot without the car. Perhaps I was imagining things but soon their plans for me were less disguised. Henry’s wife was certain that I should meet her brother, a solicitor. They had both already told me several times that I was family, so it would be fitting that I think about this proposal. I was reminded regularly until the day I left them. I had not revealed too much about my heart missions to Cuzco but they knew enough to draw conclusions that I was on the wrong track.

Highway In Peru Wild Star Landing

Highway In Peru Wild Star Landing

I wished there had been heart school instead of college. There was nowhere on this earth I could escape to make my dreadful mistakes without being noticed, particularly by women who had succeeded in earning respect of the men whose hearts they had secured.

Apples from the Garden Of Eden

Apples from the Garden Of Eden

I never knew how to win so I never played the heart game. For too long a time I persisted with this craziness, thinking I was sparing myself of torture. But there comes a time when you have to admit you might be wrong. Realising you are wrong on a grand scale is not a pretty party to attend. The torture was waiting for me, all lined up with its dickey-bow on and I wasn’t drinking cocktails by any means.

I didn’t argue with any ones suggestions even the woman who dared to cross the line to tell me I was asking for a lot of trouble if proceeded with my current quest. I just quietly accepted that she was more knowledgeable, having entered heart school much earlier in life and had succeeded well.

I listened to everyone’s suggestions but I certainly felt no magic for men with cars or ironed creases in their pants. I would hold out for another while and I would listen. Perhaps the wind of this Sacred Valley would provide the education that I sought. Perhaps it too would sail above me. Nonetheless, I would listen.

Journey In Peru Wild Star Landing

Journey In Peru Wild Star Landing

©Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing (Blog)

 

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The Best Thing About Santa Teresa – Journey in Peru

It will never be said about Santa Teresa that ‘the best thing about it is the road out of it’. This is a figure of speech used in Ireland when poking fun at a rival towns-land. It was time to leave the cloud forest jungle and this tree-house style room in which I had spent two airy Peruvian nights.

The unpaved dusty wriggly road, high upon the canyon’s ledge lay waiting for me to chance it one more time, except this time the car travelled on the side closest to the edge. There was no getting used to it, especially when the driver met another vehicle at a particularly narrow bend and had to reverse to make way for it to pass. I just thought ‘if I die now at least I can say I have dared to live life to the maximum’. If I had died then I would have died blissfully ignorant of the truth I had neglected to heed.

I had brought with me to Santa Teresa a curiosity that needed to be satisfied. A woman of my imaginative creation desired to finally put her past to rest and move her life forward once and for all. I had written a story around her and it intrigued me as to how it really would pan out for her if she were indeed to settle in this country and live a traditional modest married life. She would come to an exotic place such as Santa Teresa to play out her romantic quest in a daring manner like never before.

Cloud Forest Jungle Peru www.wildstarlanding.com

Cloud Forest Jungle Peru
http://www.wildstarlanding.com

I pondered the sequel to this story as the canyon glided beneath the car window.A happily ever after ending would never do the trick. She deserved to be happy that was certain. But for how many years should she be allowed to retain that happiness? I thought I could reasonably allow her 15 years or so. A tragic accident would widow her and she would be faced with the decision to return to her home country or remain amongst her new family in Peru. There would be a twist too. All the ingredients of a good story or so I thought. Can you have too much tragedy in a story? If there is tragedy at the beginning is it over the top to subject the heroine to further misery towards the end?

All in all, perhaps my idea of tragedy was over-imagined. But to live a whole life without the knowledge of self that only comes from attempting to fully know another, would that not then be a tragedy? I wanted to divert my heroine temporarily from her tragic route.

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

Eco Quechua Lodge Santa Teresa Peru

From Santa Maria to Ollantaytambo Peru

From Santa Maria to Ollantaytambo Peru

By now I had transferred to the bus that took me from Santa Maria back to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. This time there were absolutely no seats remaining and I had to stand in the aisle. The air was still hot from the jungle. A nauseous unease welled inside me accompanied by a faintish daze. I must have looked like I was going to collapse on the seated passengers. Someone pointed to the rear of the bus and bodies made way. I squeezed into a corner of the back of the bus on the side that faced deep into the floor of the mountains footholds with all the windings of roads yet to be travelled set out like threads below. I stood in a leaning position as there were no seats in this part of the bus but at least I was secure enough not to collapse.

It occurred to me that my Ollantaytambo friends would be curious about my trip. I realised then how much that humming bird had come to my rescue. Without doubt, seeing this wondrous bird before my very eyes was the best thing about my visit to Santa Teresa. It was a blessing then as I diverted their further questioning and it was a blessing later when the dreams I had dared to realise fell to shambles.

I too had a story. I didn’t want anyone to know the truth of it. I did not want to be seen floundering with the eyes of the world upon me. For those days in Santa Teresa I fooled myself, thinking love was on its way. It was in fact withheld once again. I misinterpreted every word, every in-action.

As I stepped from the bus onto the cobbled stones of Ollantaytambo, I turned to wave goodbye. It was the start of a slow series of goodbyes but also the beginning of something new for I never felt about myself the freedom as I had then. I was living an adventure and my arms were wide open to the highs and lows that were to yet to come.

An Irish Woman’s Journey in Peru Live your life as if it is a movie and you are in the leading role

© Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing

Eat Love Peru!

Peru boasts a wealth of gastronomical dishes and you don’t have to visit a fancy restaurant to find that out. Cooking and eating might as well be included among the sacred rituals continued from Inca times for these two occupations were embraced with passion and reverence in all quarters of my hang-outs in the Sacred Valley region of Cuzco.

As a tourist in Peru it is not so likely that you will discover the many eating houses that the Peruvians themselves frequent unless you decide to be a stalker for a day to see where they are going at those times when hunger strikes. If you do take this adventure you will be presented with a choice of set menus of the day, serving 2 or maybe 3 courses with a drink (chicha morado or fresh juices) and all for at least a third the cost of what is charged in tourist restaurants.

There is also a wealth of stalls and small eateries serving what is sometimes labelled ‘street-food’ perhaps skewered pieces of vegetable and meat which smells delicious and tastes to match. In the eateries one of my favourite dishes was the Papas Rellana’s. A ball of mashed potato’s stuffed with some chopped up vegetable and minced meat and a boiled egg in the centre, fried in oil and served hot.

Why not give it a go when you are next in Cuzco before or after your trip to Machu Picchu.

If you have a passion for food and would like to learn more about Peruvian dishes and drinks, FOLLOW my blog as I will be posting some recipes soon!!