I’ve been referred to as an unadventurous eater in the past. I am one to traditionally opt for familiar dishes when travelling both due to fear of the unknown and to avoid any issues that might arise from foreign dishes ravishing my stomach.

When I signed up on the Inca Discovery Plus, I was quite nervous of what they would be feeding me whilst I trekked through the mountains on my four-day, three-night hike toward Machu Picchu. To me, this “fear” was quite normal and I had dreams of being subjected to the same old porridge and stew dishes for each meal because that would be the easiest way to go.

Photo by Gillian Anne Lucas.

Photo by Gillian Anne Lucas.

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The first indication of what my dining experiences were going to be came as we crossed the bridge at KM 82 to begin our journey in Ollantaytambo. Our team of 21 porters, who made our journey quite enjoyable and almost effortless (other than those giant Inca steps), came running by with backpacks filled with all sorts of goodies and I was reassured by our CEO that I was going to be eating like a King for the next few days.

Inca Trail breakfast wrap. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

Inca Trail breakfast wrap. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

Breakfast

Each day we awoke the smell of something fantastic cooking in the chef tents, and it was this smell (and maybe the warm coca tea) that had me springing out of my tent in the wee hours of the morning. Our breakfast selection included:

? Pancakes with caramel drizzle that represented a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in southern Peru

? Thick oatmeal with large fresh chunks of sweet apples

? Andean pan chuta (traditional bread baked in colonial ovens)

? Omelettes stuffed with peppers, celery, carrots, radishes, and cheese

Morning pancakes. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

Morning pancakes. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

Snack time

Following our daily breakfast, our chefs prepared little care packages for us to take along our journey to snack on. These came in handy whenever we needed a little pick me up before continuing on our journey. These snack packs included:

? Bananas

? Chocolate bars (I highly recommend you stock up Sublime to take home with you)

? Cookies

? Candies

? Mandarin oranges

? Granola bars

? Apples

? Juice

Snacks for the trail. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

Snacks for the trail. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

Lunch

After hiking for sometimes up to four hours before a full meal, our lunches were always welcomed. They had a great balance nutrients and the just the right quantity as you never wanted to be so full you just felt like sleeping. Our chefs came up with some excellent dishes including:

? A range of soups including creamy asparagus, quinoa, and vegetable

? Peruvian chicken salad

? Native Peruvian potato chili with rice and spinach cake

? Chicken rolls

? Vegetable and Russian salads

Delicious soup. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

Delicious soup. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

Teatime

After lunches, we would continue our hike along the trail for several more hours before reaching camp for the night. After settling into our tents (and cleaning ourselves up), we enjoyed traditional teatime and instantly put us in a relaxed mood. These teatime sessions included:

? An assortment of teas (Coca, anis, manzanilla, te puro)

? Hot Chocolate

? Coffee

? Freshly baked cookies

? Crackers with marmalade, honey, and butter

? Popcorn

? Crispy wontons

Dinner

Our final culinary experience of the day would come at dinnertime with wonderful three-course meals. Nestled in their tent, our talented team of chefs were able to put together the following dishes with only an aid of a flashlight and a minimalist propane torch:

? A range of soups including potato, rice and vegetable, and Andean corn chowder

? Steamed trout in a mushroom sauce served with garden vegetables

? Lightly fried chicken with freshly cut potato chips

? Stir-fried noodles with mushrooms and steamed kale

? Apple and cinnamon pudding

? Chocolate cake and pudding

? Gelatin (yes, Jello in the middle of the Andes!)

A meal fit for a trekking king or queen. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

A meal fit for a trekking king or queen. Photo courtesy Gillian Anne Lucas.

It is also important to note that if you have any food allergies or happen to be a vegetarian or vegan, G Adventures will cater to you along the way.

Needless to say, my initial expectations of our culinary options were surpassed in every way – on the trail, I ate like a king and the food experience was only topped by the first sight of Machu Picchu from the Sungate.

I took two things away from this latest adventure – a deep appreciation for Inca innovations and to never doubt the creativity and ability of individuals even in remote and challenging areas like the mountains!

Getting There

G Adventures runs a number of departures in Peru encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater to different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out our small group trips here.

Header image courtesy Wendy H.

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