Exploring the San Pedro Market in Cusco

Good news! I’m back from the brink.

If you missed my somewhat dramatic altitude sickness post from yesterday click here. I woke up this morning feeling much better, although I am still completely out of breath after walking up an embarrassingly short flight of stairs. Oh well.

Today we did some chores ahead of the four day Inca Trail we are starting on Friday (petrified, I am petrified, more on this later), before heading back to San Pedro Mercado for lunch. We ate there on Monday before I was stuck down with illness.

I love to explore markets when I’m travelling. It makes for excellent people watching and exploring aisles and aisles of curious wares is so fun. Markets are often a great place to eat delicious cheap food and San Pedro is no exception.

I highly recommend starting your visit with lunch.

At the back of the market is the food area. Each aisle is dedicated to a certain type of dish; soup, rice dishes etc and you stroll along as vendors shout their menu at you. Once you find the right place you take a seat on a white bench in front of the stall as your meal is cooked in front of you.

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On Monday we had a two course meal, a quinoa and potato soup followed by lomo saltado:

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Lomo saltado, I forgot to photograph the soup!

While the food here isn’t pretty, it is very tasty and cheap. We paid 5 soles for two courses, which is roughly $AUD2.50.

Excellent news: half of one of the food aisle is dedicated to desserts. Ice cream, cakes, jellies and other sweets. On Monday I tried tres leches:

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‘three milks’ cake

It is soaked in three kinds of milk; evaporated, condensed and heavy cream. It looks pretty ugly in that photo but it is heaven.

Today we had Arroz con huevo + salchicha (rice with egg and sausage) for 4 soles, that’s less than $2!

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Again, ugly but delicious. It certainly doesn’t help that the sausage is splayed out like an octopus.

With a full belly, it’s time to explore. You could meander down Carb Lane:

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Haven’t you always wanted bread in the shape of a sun hat? I have.

Then take a stroll to Fruitville:

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Which is conveniently located right next to Juice Junction:

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Again, the aisle is lined with identical juice stands. You just have to pick a stand and take a seat.

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Someone is excited for juice!

I went for orange, mango and passionfruit.

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Deliciously tangy

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Souvenir Central is one of the most colourful corners of the market.

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Cute

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These llama keyrings are sold everywhere and I love them and I WILL buy one before we leave

But Flower Town certainly gives Souvenir Central a run for its money in the colour stakes:

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So what did we actually buy?

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Nuts and dried fruits to make our own trail mix and:

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Alpaca wool socks to sleep in on the Inca Trail. Because today we found out it will be -10 degrees overnight along the trek to Machu Picchu. We are camping. MINUS 10. DEGREES. CELSIUS. So yes, I am freaking out somewhat. I’m also freaking out about the distance, the inclines, the declines, the altitude and the 13,780 foot peak known as ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’. What kind of name is that?!

I’m trying really hard to be calm and well prepared. So I guess we’ll see what happens. Kind of wish I was just catching the train to Machu Picchu like a normal person. Oh well.

Wish me luck.

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4 Responses to Exploring the San Pedro Market in Cusco

  1. Eric Kentor says:

    Say it ain’t so! Glad you’re feeling better in any event. Adrienne and I were able to make the trek with our old bodies and brittle bones (and after Adrienne suffered the torture of altitude sickness), so we have all the confidence in the world for you 2. Can’t wait to swap stories and compare pictures. Onward and upward to Salkantay Pass (15,200′) and Humantay Mountain! Enjoy the journey AND the destination.

    • Bec says:

      Thanks Eric! You and Adrienne are very fit hikers though! I feel more positive this morning. We caught up with a colleague of my Mum’s from back home who just happens to be doing the trek the day after us (same company!) with his wife and daughter who is our age and has been traveling around South America. It was nice to share my nerves and talk out concerns with them, so that was great. I know I can do it, sort of!

  2. sassykabassy says:

    Good to see see you feeling better! Have fun!

  3. Pingback: How to get the money to quit work and travel | My Bloggable Day

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