We’ve been lucky throughout our trip, consistently having plenty of visitors and now the time had come for our last visitors. Luckily for us they were fairly important ones – Annie’s parents were flying all the way to Peru just to come see us! Rather than trying to squeeze everyone into the van, which wouldn’t be the holiday they would be expecting to say the least, we booked an AirBnB in Cuzco. We’d spend a few days here before doing our trek to allow Maria & Jamie to acclimatise to the altitude.
We checked in a day early so that when they arrived there would be less hanging around waiting for the apartment. It was a beautiful place to stay with a lovely terrace, which was good as we didn’t want to disappoint! Upon arrival we had arranged a car to pick them up so brought their things upstairs and went straight out for lunch. We chose ‘Organika’ for our first lunch – turns out Cuzco is a massive foodie town so we were spoilt for choice! Jamie had stuffed peppers and Maria a gorgeous penne pasta, definitely not the type of food they were expecting from Cuzco.
The following morning we opted for one of our favourites – a free walking tour! We made time for a gargantuan breakfast beforehand though – a place called Jacks Cafe which serves plates literally beyond belief, and enough to defeat Annies parents! During the tour we were shown around the historic city of Cusco, seeing Inca ruins demonstrating this had once been an Inca city however the Spanish had decided to build Cusco right on top of it. The city is absolutely stunning and probably has one of the prettiest squares we’ve come across on this trip so far. We were also reminded of the fact that we were definitely visiting at the back end of the rainy season!
When the tour was over we were all still full up from our huge breakfast, and so headed back to the AirBnB for what would become our ritual afternoon nap! We picked up an empanada to tide us by on the way home, and then after our nap we’d booked a pretty good restaurant to say thank you to Jamie & Maria for flying out so far. Uchu is a steak restaurant in the heart of the old town, where they bring out your food on a hot stone and you can have it just how you like it. Jamie had the ribs, Maria the lamb and we had a mix of three meats (being as indecisive as we are!) including shrimp, alpaca, lamb and beef. For us it was the best meal of the trip, and also we got to introduce pisco sours to our visitors, the national drink of Peru!
Although the meat was divine, it wasn’t enough to ward off the altitude sickness the next day. We figured eating a slightly less heavy breakfast would help, and also a walk up to show Betty off! Unfortunately, walking around and looking for a breakfast place turned out to be an unsuccessful venture as we ended up with a cheap but definitely disgusting breakfast. After that none of us felt particularly like walking, so we took a cab up to see the van. It was so lovely to be able to show Annie’s parents around where we’d spend the last year living. They seemed suitably impressed which is all that matters!
That night we went to a place called Moreno for dinner, which had been recommended by our AirBnB host. This was our last normal night out, and we enjoyed a very interesting meal to say the least! We were able to demonstrate the taste of Papa Rellenas to Maria & Jamie which was nice for us as they’d been such a big part of our experience in Colombia! The following day was all about relaxing, as it was the day before we departed for the trek. This pretty much involved a day of eating and resting! We did however visit Santa Domingo in the morning, a beautiful monastery with stunning gardens which allowed us to make the most of the good weather! Following that it was a quick bite to eat (back to Jacks we go!) and a 6pm briefing for the trek the next day. As we’d be starting at 4am we all got to bed super early, excited and understandably a little nervous for the next 5 days to come! But that’s for next time…