Tag Archives: Peru

Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – an amazing experience which I didn’t want to end

Never before had the famous quote: ‘It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,’ felt so true. For the last four days, I had been hiking through stunning Peruvian mountains to reach my destination, the famous UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu. But now, sitting on the ground under a make-shift bus shelter in the dark at 3am waiting to be allowed onto the final stage of the trek, I really didn’t want the journey to end. It had been such an amazing, challenging and memorable experience just to get to this point, that reaching my goal was going to be surprisingly bitter sweet.

trekking the inca trail to machu picchu
The World Heritage site of Machu Picchu was my destination – but did I really want to get there after all?

When I was initially contemplating this trip, I had thought of little else than seeing Machu Picchu, the 15th century Inca site high in the Andes which had remained lost in the Peruvian forests until just 100 years ago, and hadn’t really paid a great deal of attention to how I was going to get there. This meant that I was in a for a bit of a shock when I was sitting in a classroom in the bustling Peruvian town of Cusco, our meeting point at the start of the journey.

Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Cusco’s huge main square, the impressive Plaza de Armas, which contains Cusco Cathedral and and the church Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus

I was travelling in a group of 11 other people with adventure tour operator G Adventures and our enthusiastic guide Elias was talking us through each day. Rather than taking first a train and then a bus to Machu Picchu like most tourists do, we were lucky enough – as only 500 people are allowed on it each day – to be hiking the Inca Trail, 25 miles (for us) of ancient footpath through the Andes and along the Amazonian basin which leads to Machu Picchu.


I travelled with G Adventures on the  seven day Inca Trail trip which
starts from £899 per person excluding flights. The seven day
Lares Trek adventure – the Lares Trek is shorter and higher than the Inca Trail and isn’t restricted by permits – 
also starts from
£899 per person excluding flights.


I had only the vaguest idea of what trekking the Inca Trail would involve (you could say that I’d skimped on the research, but I do like to arrive on these trips with as few preconceptions as possible), and I’d rather blithely assumed it would be a gentle walk through the Peruvian countryside. A slide showing the second day’s walking popped up on the screen – a diagonal line going from the bottom left to the top right in a sheer climb. ‘Total elevation 1,115 metres,’ it said, adding, more alarmingly: ‘Highest point: Dead Woman’s Pass.’ This did not sound good.

‘We’re going to climb that high in just one day?’ gasped one of my fellow travellers. ‘Don’t worry, it’ll be fine,’ said Elias reassuringly. ‘When you’ve finished walking, then you can have lunch.’ Continue reading Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu – an amazing experience which I didn’t want to end

Pisco power! Getting into the Peruvian spirit at Senor Ceviche

As a late arrival to the cult of the Pisco sour cocktail I certainly plan to make up for lost time.

I started and finished my evening at Senor Ceviche, the Peruvian pop-up bar which is now a restaurant in Soho, with the drink which has become one of my favourites: little glasses of the Peruvian pisco spirit, mixed with lime juice, sugar syrup and bitters, refreshing and sour and sweet and smooth all at the same time, and extremely moreish.

senor ceviche
A pair of pisco sours – a great start to a great meal

Even without those to top and tail the evening, our trip to Senor Ceviche would still have been a great night. The food was fresh and zesty, the service prompt and friendly, and the atmosphere was fun without being forced.

Senor Ceviche is a great find and a worthy addition to the hidden pocket of food-and-cocktail heaven which is Kingly Court. Located between Regents Street and Carnaby Street, this area is finally discovering the zing and zip which it had in the 60s and lost in the 80s.

Senor Ceviche
The interior is cheerful, bright and stands out from the usual restaurant design

Senor Ceviche owner Harry Edmeades, who learned his craft working in restaurants in Peru, has re-created the colourful chaos of a Lima bar for London foodies with its busy yellow decor. Continue reading Pisco power! Getting into the Peruvian spirit at Senor Ceviche