It was exciting to have a friend come to share our adventures with us (if only for a few weeks) and we were up extremely early in order to welcome Rossi as she arrived in Lima’s airport at 5am.
By the time we’d made it back to the hostel, played a few rounds of free pool and eaten some breakfast we were eager to show the newcomer some of the sights in Lima. First, we took a walk along the coastal pathway within the city’s upmarket Miraflores district.
There were some nice parks along the way and we even had a go on some of the public gym equipment (to help us get in shape for Machu Picchu)!
Then we walked back into the centre of Miraflores to show Rossi Kennedy Park – a place that’s famous for having more cats than people per square metre…
After a quick bite to eat near the park, we headed over to the Cocoa Museo (chocolate museum!) where we were given a demonstration on how the lowly cocoa bean is transformed into that yummy treat we all know and love. While there, we were given cocoa tea (made from the cocoa bean husks steeped in boiling water) and tasted some alcoholic cocoa liqueur.
We finished our visit with a DIY hot chocolate – to which you could add chilli and honey (for a classic Mayan taste) or cinnamon and cloves (for how the conquistadors enjoyed it).
We rounded-off our day in Lima with a visit to Grimanesa Vargas to try a Peruvian delicacy – anticuchos (marinated and barbecued cow heart skewers). This is the best place in Lima to try anticuchos – it’s practically the only thing served there and it’s famous for it. The whole cooking process is overseen by Senora Vargas herself, who gives every plate her seal of approval.
The next day was the start of our 21-hour bus journey across the Panamerican Highway to Cusco – where we would finally start our trek to Machu Picchu after more than six months of planning! We were thrilled with our seats on the coach. They were right at the front of the top-deck and included our own mini-TV screens, like an aeroplane… But the enthusiasm was a bit short-lived for Rossi, who suffers from travel sickness and was rather ill despite taking plenty of tablets!
When we finally arrived in Cusco we had a day to relax, finalise all our arrangements for the trek and do some last minute shopping in the markets to make sure we had all the kit we needed.
Inca Trail, here we come!