Tuesday, 16 September 2014

A feast for the senses

Well, hello there bloglettes! 

Please excuse the slight delay since my last post. I've been a bit busy with the small matter of walking the Inca Trail and trying to learn to surf, among other things. 

For this post I want to go back to my roots and focus on my favourite subject - FOOD (and drink, of course). And in doing so, I can fill you in on some of my travel tales along the way. You in? Here goes. 

Pizza in La Paz

We stayed right by Plaza San Pedro in La Paz, Bolivia, where we found this cute little trattoria for a traditional Saturday night date night pizza. We'd had the Kohlberg red, a Bolivian wine, on our Salt Flats tour, so enjoyed a bottle for old times' sake. At around £2 it was hard to argue against it. Unfortunately Andy went down with a stomach bug the next day, but I'm not sure we can blame the pizza. La Paz was good fun, I'd recommend doing the free city walking tour by Red Cap Tours. We learned loads about Bolivia's turbulent history. 

Quinoa soup in Copacabana

It was my turn to go down with traveller's tum next, but I can think of nowhere better to do so than sleepy Copacabana, Bolivia, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. I mainly laid in bed watching Friends and Big Bang Theory while I recovered. It was bliss. When I did venture out in to the tiny little town, this soup was just the ticket. Hearty and nourishing. I may also have had half of that cheese and ham toastie you see in the background. Who can resist?! Did you know quinoa is one of the few complete plant proteins? It means it can give you all the nutrients usually found only in animal proteins. Bolivia grows this precious grain, which can only be harvested once a year. 

Chicken soup in Puno 

Starting to feel a little better in Peru, I felt like getting back in front of the hob. We headed to a local vegetable market where we stocked up on the freshest and cheapest ingredients I've seen in a long time. Fresh peas and corn are particular specialities. There's nothing like the taste of homemade chicken soup. Sadly, our visit to the floating reed islands on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca left a bitter taste in our mouths. We felt like walking dollar signs as they tried to sell us everything. Still, it was a fascinating trip. 

Trout in Cusco

This fishy delight marked our first evening in Cusco, Peru, with our dear friends who had come out to visit. It was delicious and so nice to be eating proper food again after being ill. It was also lovely to see friendly faces from home, who came bearing peanut butter, probiotics and night cream. Serious joy. 

Fried rice on the Inca Trail

I just want to have it on record that I am never doing the Inca Trail again! Twice is more than enough for one lifetime. Oh my God, so tough. But, the magnificent food did ease the pain of my creaking knees. South America has awakened a rice obsession in me, and this veggie fried rice delight was hard to quit. Those chefs on the road are gods to me. No chance of losing any pounds on the trail with those bad boys in charge. We had an awesome trek but it is not for the faint hearted. I repeat. Never again. 

Brunch at Jack's in Cusco

It will come as no surprise to you that the thought of food got me through the Inca Trail. Brunch at Jack's to be precise. You only have to look at it to see why. Pure bliss. We love Cusco, so pretty, with good food and lots of llama themed goods. What's not to love, people?

Egg white oatmeal in Cusco

For our last breakfast before heading to Lima I decided to use our eggs up and try this out. And it was good! Not sure it filled me up more than normal porridge thought, as I was still munching crap at the airport a few hours later. What is it about airports and eating junk? On to Lima and goodbye to our cosy Cusco home. 

Fish Tacos in Barranco

Yes, a little bit of California by the sea in Lima, Peru. These were very tasty, washed down with the local favourite, fresh lemonade with mint. Divine. Barranco is a pretty suburb by the sea, and we really enjoyed chilling there after Machu Picchu and a few days's surfing. Lima has a great foodie scene going on - we were treated to a fabulous meal at La Nacional in Miraflores. I could have stayed longer, it feels so familiar there, and the supermarkets have peanut butter. More than one kind... Time to move on! 

Porridge on a bus

When life hands you an olive paste sandwich for breakfast, laugh in its face with your leftover Peanut Butter and Co peanut butter, a banana, some oats and some hot water stolen out of your tea cup. Ha! This bus had personal TV screens, so it wasn't all bad. I watched The Hobbit and Les Miserables. It passed the time as we journeyed from Peru to Chile. 

Fish soup in Arica


And so here we are in Arica, Chile's northernmost city. You can surf and sunbathe and walk up big hills. Or just check out the local wildlife, like we did at the port today. We also enjoyed seafood empanadas and I had the biggest mussel I've ever seen, all washed down with a local beer. Monday lunchtimes, eh...

Until next time! What's the best thing you ate recently? My favourite has to be that brunch at Jack's. Long anticipated!

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