It’s been quite a long time since I’ve last posted! I wish I could say that there’s no wifi where I’ve been living in Peru, but I spend my days in a cafe to work, and though FaceTime is touchy, the connection certainly works.
I can say that many of my fears were completely unfounded. I live in Ollantaytambo; a quaint town that is known throughout the region as the remaining Incan city. As my Spanish teacher explained to me during my first couple of days here, the town is split quite literally by the more modern and antiquated building styles. Because the only way to get to Machu Picchu (besides trekking) is by the train that picks up both here and in Cusco, tourists flood the town. It’s been interesting to see the revolving door of faces that walk around with their large backpacks and phones to their faces to video all the history and surroundings.
The way that the town has adapted to accommodate visitors is also worth noting. My friends and I joke that if we go to enough restaurants in town we’ll be able to successfully have internet connection anywhere we go. Menus are advertised in English first, then Spanish, and hosts will call out menu items (amidst the Spanish you will typically hear calls of ‘Happy Hour’ thrown in). I look very foreign to the region, and even when I ask for the prices of items in Spanish–the answers are often in English. Though I would like to put more work into learning Spanish fluently when I return to the States, it has been nice to be able to work my way around despite the language barrier.
I will absolutely be posting more in the following weeks about my favorite hikes, weekend trips, customs, and foods to try in the region, but for now I’ll leave off with my favorite munchies to buy (on a daily basis).
- Tequenos: Good lord, these are incredible. My friends and I finally learned to cook them for ourselves last night, and I don’t regret it (though my waistline might). Made with Wonton wrappers and queso fresco, these beauties are best served fried and with a side of homemade guac. They’ve been the best comfort food since arriving.
- Casinos: You can get these little cookies for literally one sol (which is the U.S. equivalent of 30cents). They’re like vanilla oreos, with a variety of different filling flavors. My favorite are Alfajor-flavored, which to me is similar in taste to dulce de leche.
- Sublimes: I have consumed a ridiculous amount of these in the past few days alone. I’ve only ever seen them here, though they’re made by Nestle. A Sublime is a chocolate bar with nuts, and they taste incredible! 10/10 would recommend.
- Platano con leche: It’s literally exactly what it sounds like. The market has a juice stand, and the lady that owns it will make juices out of almost any fruit. My favorite is fresa con leche, but since that’s less commonly available, my go-to is banana with milk. So simple, so yummy, and it’s a cheap lunch when I’m not feeling something heavy.
Speaking of food, I’m signing off to go eat lunch (Quinoa Chaufa so delicious). xoxo.