When we started out on our 42 kilometre trek along the Inca Trail, I was full of morbid questions; questions I really should have researched before booking the trip.
Peruvian chef Alejandro Saravia arrived in Australia on New Year’s Eve 2006 with nothing but a suitcase and a dream (and probably a few other things).
South America is a beautiful destination, candid and colourful, but many South American countries are still working towards economic stability and equality. Drained by conflicts over the last few hundred years, these countries struggle to establish basic standards of living for their citizens. And even in the more prosperous areas there will be those that slip through the cracks, like in the favelas of Rio or shantytowns of Peru.
It may come as a shock that cheerful, marmalade-loving, wellington-wearing Paddington Bear – a UK icon as English as rain or understatement – comes not from London, but from ‘darkest Peru’.
Popular in coastal regions of the Americas, ceviche is essentially raw fish cured in lemon or lime juice. It’s usually spiced with some kind of chilli and toppings such as onions, salt and cilantro aren’t uncommon. It goes rather splendidly with side dishes such as corn, avocado, plantain and sweet potato. Yummo.
Studies suggest that the world’s 300 million indigenous people – living in mainly rural areas across 70 countries – experience greater degrees of deprivation and poverty than non-indigenous people.
As expected, my Classic Peru trip with Intrepid was a phenomenal mix of culture – including Lima, the food mecca of Latin America; Cuzco, the ancient Inka capital of South America; and the islands of Lake Titicaca, which seemed to me a blast from the past as they really have not adopted much of our modern world.
Some of my favorite stops along the way included:
Hiking to the ruins at Machu Picchu was an experience I could never describe. Being able to spend the whole day letting my imagination run wild as I envisioned life among Inca royalty was, at the time, sure to be the pinnacle of my holiday.
Little did I know that in only a few days I would soon have one of my most amazing travel experiences.