Sunday, February 7, 2010

Peru Day 2: Spaghetti Tortillas, Anyone?

Last night's sleep was restful, thanks to my sound machine. My bedroom faces the street and since there are no evident traffic laws here, the car horns play a kind of urban symphony. Unfortunately, Brahams isn't in their repertoire, so the "waterfall" option on my machine serves me well. Now if only I could do something about the draft....

Breakfast was simple: pan (bread), butter, some meat and preserves of a fruit I don't know. Instant coffee and another fresh juice as well. 

I met up with Karem and her sister, Ruby, and she took me to mercado San Pedro, the large food market near Plaza de Armas (the main square). The market was extraordinary -- so many different fruits and vegetables, aisles of grains, meats, cheeses and flowers. There were also a few cafeteria-style, pull-up-a-stool and eat what we're serving aisles, including those dedicated to fruit juices (made fresh), soups and other larger meals. Lots and lots of pictures.

Back home for a large lunch of soup, chicken stuffed with jamon y queso, salad and potatoes. Full, Ali and I settled in for an hour of Friends episodes before heading out for a long afternoon of walking around Cusco.

Our house is about a 30-minute walk from the touristy section of town. And, pleasantly, since it's the rainy season here, it's also NOT the tourist season. The walk to Plaza de Armas (the main square) is pretty straightforward -- lots of diesel-fueled cars puffing along, horns honking, masses of people. Food stalls scatter the sidewalks and stray dogs abound, including ones that look similar to Sam and Stella (I seriously contemplated letting this one follow me back to Laura's and asking her to take him in).

We strolled around the plaza and the various side streets, popping in and out of all the shops. The beauty of the souvenirs here is that many of them are handmade. I resisted all but a few items (which I can't divulge here since some of the recipients will probably read this) and purchased my ticket for a city tour tomorrow.

The Plaza de Armas really feels like a square on top of a mountain. This is one of those places where you feel as high up as you really are. Already I can tell that this city is special and I'm excited to see more.

We walked back to our house and rested for an hour before dinner which, as the title says, was spaghetti tortillas (with a side of rice). The tortillas were thicker and smaller and the spaghetti was cut up inside. Not my favorite dish so far, but enjoyable nonetheless when smothered in spicy ketchup. The side of red Jello was a bonus!

It's raining here tonight, so I've turned down Ali's invitation to join her for her last night out. While I'm not suffering from any altitude sickness, I do feel more tired. Hopefully that will wear off soon.

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