The most important day of the trip, the day Alvaro was going to see Machu Picchu for the first time, finally arrived. And it was raining. We took a taxi to the train station in Ollantaytambo hoping the rain would stop on the way.
Of the two companies that go to Machu Picchu, we took Inca Rail, which had nice and comfortable trains, and good service.
We were offered a snack and a hot or cold beverage.
When we arrived to Machu Picchu the rain got worse as we listened to the tour guide, but it stopped later, just before we left.
We had some time to have lunch before taking the train back. Given most restaurants in the area are overpriced, I was considering grabbing something in the market.
We decided not to eat in the market and continued looking for a reasonably priced meal. We found it at Qory Pacha: a 2-course set menu for S/. 18 ($7.60), plus tax.
We were served the traditional ají (chili) sauce.
We had palta rellena con queso andino (avocado stuffed with vegetables and Andean cheese) and crema de champiñón (mushroom soup) as entreés. The avocado was a bit disappointing because we’re used to get half an avocado stuffed with the filling, and got instead two slices surrounding the filling.
Palta rellena con queso andino
Crema de champiñón
My main was trucha a la plancha con papas nativas y finas hierbas (grilled trout with local potatoes and fine herbs) and Alvaro had filete de pollo con crocante de papa andino (chicken fillet with crunchy local potatoes). Both dishes were essentially the same with different meats. Yes, the names were a bit deceptive for what we got but the whole thing was good value for the money.
Trucha a la plancha con papas nativas y finas hierbas
Filete de pollo con crocante de papa andino
Outside the restaurant we saw a street vendor selling gelatina con flan (jelly and flan), a classic economical dessert. We shared one for old time’s sake.
Gelatina con flan (S/. 1, $0.42)
Later that night, back in Cusco, we tried to find a restaurant we had seen in a guide, but couldn’t. On our way back we saw a restaurant offering cuy al horno (roasted guinea pig) and decided to give it a shot. Bad idea. We had been warned a lot of restaurants reheat the cuy in the microwave oven, making it chewy, and that’s exactly what we got. At least we got two pisco sours for free.
Mango and ciruelo pisco sour
Cuy al horno with potato and rocoto relleno (S/. 55, $23.22)