Peruvian and Italian food

Peruvian and Italian food

After having walked past the man with the Inca hat who, with ample gestures and without even one glance in our direction, shouted the above words, we decided that we could ignore him no longer. In unison and quite audible, we uttered the famous words: “Italian and Peruvian food!” Unfortunately, it seemed to make little impression upon him: the good man seemed totally unaware of the fact that two passersby were secretly making fun of him.

Recalling this incident (which happened more than once) at the Plaza del Armas in Cuzco, I realise that the majority of our blogs relay our special experiences (and there are definitely many of those), but often we do not mention the normal day-to-day things of a travelers’ life.This time therefore, a blog about something that has to be arranged daily: food and water.

To get straight to the point: arranging food at home is definitely easier than when traveling. At home we used to buy groceries once a week, but while travelling that is no option. We often go to the store several times a day. Tagging food along only results in additional weight and that we prefer to avoid! A nice thing of Peru and Bolivia is that a tasty dinner can be super cheap (1.5 to 2 Euro for a 2 or 3 course menu). The portions are such that most of the time, Steve enjoys his own food as well as the leftovers from Anne’s, which are often about half a plate! Most of the time, everything works out just fine concerning our daily consumption, but then you have those days…

For example: the day prior to a two-day trek in a canyon: you go to a store and buy six buns which appear mouth-watering. The price: 2 Euro (which is really nothing compared to the size of the rolls). When during lunch the next day however, you take your first bite into an extremely dry bun, you’re quite disappointed and rather annoyed. And worst of all was the discovery that we could have bought 30 fresh buns for the same price at a shop nextdoor! Or the time when breakfast (served from 5 to 8) was included in the accomodation expenses (this is an exception and for us a reason to celebrate): we had to skip it the first day, because of leaving early in order to climb to Machu Picchu at 4 AM! The following day we were looking forward to our breakfast, but when we arrived at half past seven (sleeping in a bit should be fine after a 12 hour walk the previous day) all that was left were 2 dry rolls to be divided amongst the three of us. Unfortunately, we missed out on the delicious fried eggs, cake, tasty crackers, ham and jam…

Or the day the bus company assures you with great certainty that dinner will be served on board. However, doubts start to arise when after a few hours’ drive there is still no sign or smell of dinner. When at 10 pm the lights go out all hope is lost for a bite of food. After spending the night with an empty stomach, we are famished in the morning when, as an extra surprise at 6 AM, the bus comes to a halt 16 km before the destination, and all passengers are huddled off the bus. We are told that we have to travel by foot for the remainder of the journey, because of roadblocks surrounding the village. Today is also such a day as, while I type this on the bus to Santiago (a 22 hour drive) no one can tell us whether we are having a dinnerstop are not. Fortunately as a sort of consolation, wavers and packets of juice are being handed out every now and again…

Eating wavers in the bus to Santiago

Water is also something you never think about at home, but when traveling there always seems to be a challenge involved. And sometimes something can go wrong. Like the day we bought an extra bottle of water and placed it in the locker above our heads while travelling by bus during the night. However, round 2 AM we were awakened by water dripping from above and we realized that full water bottles and mountain passes of 5200m do not really go hand in hand… And about that refreshing 16 km morning walk, I failed to mention that in a momentuous burst of clarity the previous day, we bought 12 liters of water…. reason being that bottled water was more expensive ahead. Needless to say, carrying 12 litres of water while walking at an altitude of 4000 meters, is no small task and not at all recommendable! And even this morning, being in a hurry to catch the bus, we realised that our water bottles were still in our check-in bags and not within reach… Fortunately, just now, packages of juice are being handed out.

Carrying heavy water bottles to road-blocked Uyuni

While travelling by bus to Santiago, where two people are consuming many chocolate wavers and drinking their full of apple juice (and orange juice and pineapple juice and strawberry juice) we send our best regards!

SAM

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