By Mikey Beats
San Diego DJ Mikey Beats, and his nurse wife Jenny, decided to take a vacation to Machu Pichu, Peru. For the next few days San Diego Free Press will publish their daily adventures. See Days 1 & 2 here.
From what we could tell, there were no signs of altitude sickness and Jenny didn’t wake up with a hangover. We slept in on purpose to get as much rest as possible. Water and coca tea had been our drinks of choice to stay well hydrated.
We ate breakfast at the hotel which provided a continental breakfast. Breakfast on this continent was way better than my own. Natural yogurt, granola, dried and sweetened quinoa with papaya and pineapple filled my bowl while fresh Peruvian coffee filled my cup. That’s a great way to start any day.
Rebekah had given us a departing present, her Lonely Planet book on Peru. This book was on point. Jenny and I decided to follow the walking tour of central Cuzco and we were happy we did.
First we stopped by the Perurail office, close to the Plaza de Armas, to confirm our tickets for Machu Pichu, then we went upstairs to the Choco Museo that was referred to me by my buddy Kristen. That place was fat kid heaven, enough said.
From there we journeyed to the Mercado Central De San Pedro and were overwhelmed with native people and native food. We first got a coco, a couple of bananas and macaroon cookies from one vendor, then went twice to the churro stand where they served hot churros with melted chocolate inside.
Our journey extended to many corners of downtown with too many little sites to write about but plenty of memories to think about. We eventually began the long ascent to Saqsaywaman (kind of like “sexy woman”). A long ascent by my standards was a mere one mile hike uphill, but in that thin air it was still a challenge for my beautiful and in shape wife Jenny. The 180 degree view of Cuzco from the top was breath taking and not just because we were out of breath. We saw the entire city layed out before us and with that visual added to the street knowledge of our trek around the city. We really got an understanding of the layout of Cuzco.
As we walked the ruins of Saqsaywaman, I thought to myself that they were unimpressive. Almost on cue following that thought, I overheard a tour guide escorting some Canadians describing how the Spaniards dismantled the ruins to build the giant cathedrals in the city below.
My blood boiled on the stupidity and hubris of those conquering invaders. I also overheard the tour guide describing how Pizarro deceived the people under Incan rule to fight against the Incas in return for getting their land back. We know how that turned out.
On our descent down the hill to our hotel, we stopped by a small shop with a great view of the neighborhood we were staying at. There we ate choclos (they looked like corn but tasted like hominy) that was accompanied with a slice of Peruvian cheese and we washed it down with juices of carrots and oranges.
One thing I try to do during a vacation is unplug and sign out but the versatility of the apps on the iPhone had proven to be a necessary tool. Use of the compass, flashlight and, of course, the notes to write on, proved to be invaluable.
With all of our hotels having access to wifi, I have been able to get advice from friends who have been to Peru on where to go and better yet, where to eat. My buddy Chelo left me a link about Anthony Bourdain visiting a restaurant in Lima named Chez Wong’s and I pursued with an e-mail in English which didn’t get a response. I later shot off an e-mail in Spanish and I got a reservation for 6/11/13 at 1pm.
Jenny and I were so excited we immediately notified Travelocity and changed our flight to get to Lima in time for the reservation. All this excitement over food made us hungry so we decided to go and try Inka Grill.
We got some tips on what to order before hand but when we saw the menu, we went rogue. For an appetizer we ordered the trout and mushroom ceviche accompanied with roasted pine nuts, hominy, onion and a couple pieces of roasted sweet potatoes. We also got a salad for the greens to keep us fresh and regular. Who knew trout could be so good?!
For my main course I went with the goat cheese and spinach stuffed chicken breast in an elderberry and port sauce with a side of mashed potatoes. Jenny went with the shredded poached chicken in a cream sauce with nuts, yellow potatoes and rice. Both dishes were excellent and both worthy of ordering again.
The dessert was equal in excellence to the main courses which they described as “biscuit spirals over a sweet yolk sauce with vanilla ice cream.” I described it as an “oral orgasm.”
With exhaustion knocking on my eyelids, I turned in for the night read of the following day’s ATV adventure tour.
Mikey Beats Beltran is a native San Diegan and veteran of the local music scene. He started off as a teenager working at Soma Live in Bay Park and he’s currently the co-owner and Vice President of Sleeping Giant Music. He has over ten years of DJing experience that has taken him all over the US. He lives in Pacific Beach, with his wife Jenny, where he was recently elected to the PB Planning Group. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeyBeats.