After the Inca Trail, Alastair and I were both completely Wrecked. With a capital W. Remember the 3.30am start? We didn’t get back to Cusco until 11pm that night. Longest day ever.
We had another day in Cusco after the Trail, and while we probably should’ve used the opportunity to visit the Sacred Valley, the thought of doing stuff and seeing more Inca ruins didn’t exactly fill me with excitement. It’s like the ABC syndrome you get in Europe (Another Bloody Cathedral) – in Peru, it’s the NAIR problem – Not Another Inca Ruin! Oh so sad.
To assuage my slight guilt (trust me, it was only slight), I told myself we’d seen the best Inca ruin in the world, so I called it done.
Instead of sightseeing, Alastair and I spent a very leisurely day in Cusco. We had breakfast at Jack’s Cafe (which is owned by an Australian) and FINALLY had a decent coffee for the first time in weeks. Even though Peru is one of the major producers of coffee in the world, decent coffee was hard to come by. Most places seemed to serve coffee made from coffee concentrate and it was way too weak, even when adding a smaller amount of hot water.
After breakfast and beautiful, wonderful, glorious coffee, I had a beautiful, wonderful, glorious massage, and then we wandered around and came across a protest at the Municipal Justice building. The protest was complete with riot police all decked out with guns, helmets and shields lining the entrance to the building, but apart from that, it was all very low-key.
And then it was finally time for lunch. (Yes, we did just walk around waiting for lunch time.) We went to a restaurant that (when we visited) was ranked #1 in Cusco on Tripadvisor: Inkazuela (it’s now gone down to #5). It’s located in a small square behind the cathedral, and the inside was decorated with warm red shades and brightly coloured chair cushions and artworks.
The menu was written up on the blackboard, and fortunately there was English as well as Spanish. The owner also spoke English. She was very friendly, and kept checking with us that everything was okay.
We started with a fish ceviche (19 soles). Normally I find ceviche underwhelming, but I really enjoyed it. The fish was fresh and zingy from the lime juice.
We also had a warm cheese and spinach dip (17 soles). We should’ve eaten this first, because it cooled down and solidified a little by the time we got to it. It was still tasty, but just a bit gluggy.
Oh and we received proper bread – all crusty, pillowy goodness. It was actually the best bread we’d eaten in Peru (which says more about Peruvian bread than anything else).
For mains, there were different stews to choose from.
Alastair’s chose the Peruvian beef stew with spicy chilies (28 soles). While it wasn’t very spicy, it had a deep meatiness and the cubes of avocado were a good touch.
While I chose the Cubano with chicken, pork, sausage and yuca (27 soles) – a mild, starchy stew. Also in the mix were kidney beans, which combined with all the meat made it a very hearty and filling dish.
It was a pleasant meal at Inkazuela – not amazing, but pleasant. It was definitely much more pleasant than sightseeing that day.
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