First Day in Peru — Cusco!

Hello Cusco!  Our guide picked us up from the airport and took us to our hotel Tierra Viva San Blas. IMG_5954We found more free coca leaves in our hotel lobby!

We had a nice room with a balcony overlooking the street.

After we checked in, we had some free time before we met our guide for dinner.  We walked from our hotel and explored the area a little bit.

There were lots of dogs walking around the town. We also saw locals carrying baby alpacas wearing colorful accessories. IMG_9442Katie was so excited to take her first photo with a baby alpaca!

We went to Plaza de Armas, the town square.

We explored the local vendors and even saw McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

We also visited the San Pedro market to find some souvenirs to bring home with us.

IMG_3339We headed back toward our hotel to meet our guide and headed for our first dinner in Cusco at a restaurant called Nuna. This dinner was included with our tour package and we got our first taste of Peruvian cuisine.IMG_6033 We tried Tequenos Caprese Andino (wonton Chinese dove deep fried and stuffed with Andean cheese, basil, and tomatoes.)IMG_6032 Sopa de Quinua (Quinoa soup with 3 types of quinoa, vegetables in a base of Peruvian seasoning.)

IMG_6036Saltado Criollo de Alpaca Y Verduras (Peruvian creole stir-fry alpaca beef, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, red bell peppers, and spring onions)

IMG_6035Aji de Gallina (Coronation chicken based in a native yellow pepper, onions, and garlic make this creamy sauce a favorite with Peruvians.)  At this point in the trip, I was pronouncing aji like any other good local from Hawaii would pronounce it.  Aji–like the fish.  I later learned that the j is not a hard j.  It should be pronounced with an h sound.  Ahi — like the other fish.IMG_6037 Dessert was Torta del Dia (Quinoa and banana cake)IMG_6038We enjoyed our first Peruvian beer — Cusquena.  We tried the Roja, Malta, and Dorada varieties. It was a great first day in Cusco, Peru.  As we drifted off to sleep–we may or may not have been dreaming of San Pedro–market, that is. Living Hilo Style in Peru.

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