It’s tough to come back down from the high of Machu Picchu, however, we are now very happily situated in our beautiful villa in Urubamba. It’s a gorgeous place and we are being taken care of by Margarita and her husband who live next door. Apparently, whatever we need, they will take care of. Breakfast, transportation, laundry, errands…we’re living the dream..for 5 nights! Cherry, Heather and I had the “bright idea” of cooking “at home” for our first night. So off we went in a taxi to what we thought would be a fairly conventional supermarket…not so much. But I’m all up for a culinary adventure! One and a half hours later and two real markets, a bakery, a wine shop and an epic Rotisserie Chicken hunt later, we were back at the villa with the makings of dinner. Local Cheese as an appetizer, roasted chicken, Quinoa salad, Avocado, Tomato, Cucumber and Onion salad and….I’ll never live this down…blue corn. It is soooo tough and the following morning we discovered that it is essentially pig feed. Margarita’s reaction when she saw it was priceless. We will likely laugh about this for years!
After a much needed good night’s sleep for almost everyone, we were treated to a lovely breakfast.
Having briefly seen the town of Ollataytambo when we caught the train there to Machu Picchu, we decided to head back there for the day. Margarita sent for a van for us and we enjoyed a 30 minute drive to the little town that seems to have somehow kept its charm despite being the main kick-off place for either the train to Machu Picchu or the famous 4 day Inca Trail hike. Some of us headed straight to the ruins that provide a steep backdrop to the town. I must have had a moment of complete insanity as I chose to climb the steps. When almost at the top, I looked back down and froze. I am terrified of heights. I told Lucas, Cherry, Lance and Chris to keep on going without me and then quietly sat and prepared myself for the descent down the uneven stone steps with only a very low wall. It took me about 20 minutes to get back down, partly edging down on my butt. Always good to do something that scares you occasionally, right?! However, the views were spectacular. The others saw snow capped mountains at the very top.
Once back down, we rejoined the rest of the group back at the main square. They had explored the surrounding streets and had found a place for lunch which was essentially at someone’s home, and a centuries old Inca one at that! We were able to go in the one room home which was fascinating. Two beds, a little kitchen, the skulls of their ancestors displayed to watch over and protect them, and live guinea pigs living freely in one corner. Just across the courtyard which they had made into a mini market, was a one room tiny restaurant, with guinea pig on the menu. However, to order this Peruvian delicacy, you had to allow two hours. We opted out of that choice having just met their supply and having limited time… The menu offered was Soup of the day, followed by a choice of Chicken, Trout or Pork. As we were a party of 10 we pretty much filled the room and were right by where they prepared the food, from scratch. They literally had to run to the market for supplies so we watched them peeling the potatoes, filleting the fish, making the soup. We watched all this while enjoying Pisco Sours and Beer. Our soup was delicious, essentially Chicken Noodle which the added ingredients of cilantro, egg and lime juice. Our main courses were simple but we agreed the experience had been the best thing.
We then headed back to the square and after buying a wall hanging for my hallway, we loaded up into the van and returned to our lovely villa. Too full from our late lunch, we snacked on cheese and wine this evening and just enjoyed the peaceful environment here, both on the terrace and by the fire in the sitting room.