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Good Eats – Cusco, Peru

Well hello lovelies! How are my fellow world travelers today?

I have some exciting news! I recently returned from a trip to Peru and it was everything I hoped it would be and more! I have some friends who were staying in the little town of Ancahuasi, Peru (which I will write about in a blog post to come) that were continually urging me to come and visit them.

I was a bit nervous as this would be my first “solo” trip, but finally, in October 2018, I booked my tickets for a flight in January! My first thought was “Yay!”, my very next thought was “OH NO! That’s so soon! *terrified screaming*”

Ok, so I wasn’t that dramatic about it… no matter what my mom says.

While I didn’t stay in Cusco during my time in Peru, I had the chance to visit some of their best restaurants. Without further ado, here are my favorite places to eat in Cusco, Peru:

Morena

Morena was a chic, modern restaurant close to the town center of Cusco.

We were famished so my group and I asked for a couple orders of fries while we waited. They were absolutely delicious! The fries tasted much different than the ones back home and *bonus* they were served with an unique ‘honey mustard’ type sauce.

*Note – Be very careful about eating sauces at any establishment in Peru. Many places do not refrigerate such items even though most of them contain eggs or milk. You will get VERY sick. It’s best to ask or look it up online to see if it’s safe first.*

I also got a Passion Fruit Sour and my goodness it was outstanding! They make it right in front of you and it is very authentic for the area. If you have the chance I say it is definitely something you don’t want to miss out on.

And of course, I messed up and once again tried to order a burger in a foreign country. Only eat burgers from the U.S. Try something new instead! There are plenty other local favorites on their menu!

Address:
348-B Calle Plateros Cusco Peru, Cusco 08000

La Valeriana

Great costumer service!

La Valeriana was the first restaurant I visited in Peru. Straight off the plane my friends were dying to take me here, and I even ended up coming back two more times!

They mainly focus on breakfast items, but I found that my favorite thing from here were the steak empanadas! I’ve tried empanadas almost everywhere I’ve been and I have never had any as good as the ones they serve here. I just wish I had remembered to take a photo before scarfing it down haha.

Be sure try their coffee and homemade cakes as well *heart eyes*!

Address:
Avenida del Sol 576, Plazoleta Espinar, Cusco, Cuzco

El Francesito

Of course, I felt the need to add at least one restaurant that’s already on the top of Trip Advisors list! El Francesito is perfect for a fancy night out with your friends or a romantic one with your love.

Be warned, you have to climb many steps to get here, but its all worth it once you taste the delicious French Cuisine. The atmosphere of this restaurant was one that really enraptured me more than anything. Once we walked inside, I noticed that we weren’t inside at all, instead it seemed more like a courtyard. It was beautiful.

Unfortunately, We went on a Monday night and they seemed to be out of almost everything, including the lamb! *Crying face*

You may have better luck going later in the week.

Address: Calle Siete angelitos 638, Cusco 08000

Carpe Diem: Cucina Italiana

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! This was by far my favorite place to eat in all of Peru. Each and every time we stopped in Cusco we had to come here to eat.

It’s a small hole-in-the-wall (the best kind) located directly across the street from Morena. The atmosphere is friendly and energetic and the food is to die for!

Great pizza, amazing tiramisu, and the best ossobuco I have ever had! The owner is an Italian who married a Peruvian, and every recipe he makes came straight from his grandma, who got it from her grandma, and so on and so forth.

I don’t think I can even recommend one thing, just try it all!

All the ingredients arrive fresh each day and nothing is ever frozen.

Well, thanks for letting me rant about food haha! I hope I didn’t make you too hungry!

Now you’re ready to get out there and see what Peru has to offer! Safe travels my friend!

Thanks for visiting

I’m so happy you decided to come and see me! Stay tuned for more travel tips about Peru coming soon.

Let’s chat

Have you been to Peru? What was your favorite part and did I miss one of you’re favorite restaurants? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: All photos in this post belong to Brooke Walker. Any use of these photos without permission will not be tolerated.

Ancahuasi – A Hidden Gem of Peru

Hello world! I am here and I am ready to ramble!

Haha, I hope you all are well :D. If you read my last post “Good Eats – Cusco, Peru” you may have seen that I mentioned that I was staying in a little town called Ancahuasi and that I would soon be writing a post about it. Well here it is!

Ancahuasi means “House of the Eagle” in Quechua, and yes, that it as awesome as it sounds.

The first thing you should know is that this is NOT a tourist location. There are no fancy hotels and absolutely no restaurants (at least none that are safe for travelers). However, it does have one thing going for it. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

I’m not even exaggerating when I say that this place took my breath away from the minute I got there. Ok, so the high altitude may have had something to do with that… but my point remains! If you are looking for an awesome adventure spot that strays from the ordinary in Peru then this is it!

Where I stayed in Ancahuasi

I stayed at the Hospedaje Ancahuasi, which was just as fancy as it sounds! In clearer terms, it was not fancy at all. However, the owners of the hospedaje are making an effort to make it more comfortable to passing travelers. They are currently renovating the top floor to resemble more of a hotel and have considered creating a breakfast menu.

On one morning they even gave us a little taste of what this breakfast would include. Since there is no place to eat in Ancahuasi, this was a huge plus for me

The breakfast was spectacular! My favorite was the quesadillas ;).

What to see in Ancahuasi

You remember that mountain pic at the beginning of this post that you scrolled past? Start in that direction. Right at the base of the mountain are lesser known Inca Ruins that will lead you right to a waterfall!

The waterfall is surrounded by stone seats, which makes me think that this spot was used as a sort of court room or throne. Regardless it was such a cool spot that I definitely wasn’t expecting to find!

Don’t forget that every Sunday the town has a large open market where they sell fresh vegetables and handmade items. They also have food stands, but I wouldn’t recommend eating from any of them because it is not at all sanitary.

I’m sure that there are many other beautiful scenes in this captivating town. You’ll just have to wonder around to find them yourself :D.

Thanks for Visiting!

Thanks for sticking around! As a reward here are a few more pictures from my adventures in Ancahuasi.

The view of a rainbow from the rooftop of the Hospedaje Ancahuasi
A full rainbow over the town of Ancahuasi
The rooftop of a locals home

Let’s Chat

Have you ever had an amazing adventure in a place that no one has ever heard of? Let’s talk about it in the comments below ;).

Wedding Packages on Sale Now!

Hello, love birds!

Wedding pictures are insanely expensive these days, and they can be hard to fit into the budget of soon to be newly-weds. Do not fret! I have great news for you. Starting now until February 15th Wedding Photography Packages begin at only $300!

You may be thinking, “Great, so I’ll get maybe 5 pictures for $300”, but the cheapest package available actually includes both Wedding Portraits and the Ceremony!

Of course, this package is negotiable and we can customize it to fit your exact needs. Contact me for more details!

Contact Me

Feel free to call and text me at 662-910-9785! Also, check out the Contact page to send me an email. Talk to you soon!

Fall Drives

It’s amazing how so many beautiful things are hidden in plain sight. I often take drives when I’m having trouble being creative with my photography. These are a few gems I found the other day :D.

I truly believe that fall is the most beautiful season!

Thanks for Visiting

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a lovely day!

Let’s Chat

What’s your favorite season? What do you do when you feel creatively blocked? Let me know in the comments below :).

Travel while you work!

Hello fellow explorers! How are all of you lovely people today? Good? Great? Wonderful? Well I should certainly hope so :D.

When I decided – very ambitiously I might add – that I was going to travel the world, my biggest challenge was finding a job that had a flexible schedule and that I would be able to take with me while I travel. As much as I would like to become a travel writer/photographer for National Geographic, I don’t believe that’s going to happen for me at the moment.

So I went on a search through the internet to find the perfect job for traveling. The options were endless. “Review you favorite books online for cash!” “Watch ads for $$$!” “Transcribe meetings online!” I tried out quite a few, which was exhausting and time consuming and really came up with no benefit. I was about to give up on the dream of working online when I came across Dadaabc.

What is Dadaabc you ask? It is a company dedicated to teaching kids (around ages 5 – 16) from all over the world the English language. I have been working there only two months now, and I LOVE it! You do have to get up quite early depending on your time zone (My first class starts at 5 a.m.), though I fully believe that it is worth it.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to make lesson plans or fight other teachers for students, Dadaabc handles it all. All you have to worry about is interacting with the kids, helping them learn how to hold conversations/ pronounce words correctly, and most importantly making sure they have fun! The work in fun and rewarding in so many ways!

Would you like to be able to work anywhere you go? If so, send in your application with Dadaabc today! Feel free to use my referral link below :D.

https://www.dadaabc.com/teacher/landing?referrer=R6q4X2i7J56c

Thanks for Visiting!

Well, thank ya for stopping by! Why don’t ya mosey on down ta some of my other posts for a rootin tootin good time!

Let’s Chat

If you sign up to work at Dadaabc please let me know how it goes! Have you found a job that you love online? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Lazy Days

We have finally taken the turn into fall! It’s rainy and chilly and I am loving every single second of it! My dog seems to love too from the fact that he keeps stealing my blanket and my spot on the couch. Eh, he’s cute enough to get away with it. 🙂

 

My sweet boy!

Thanks for Visiting!

I knew using my adorable dog would reel you sucker’s in! I mean… Ahem… You have nice taste.

Let’s Chat

Do you have a pet that’s too cute for words? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Surf’s Up

Yea you know what’s up, I’m here at the beach living it up. Haha… yea that was a lie. I’m home in Tennessee wishing I was at the beach.

I recently found these photos from back in April. I love taking candid photos, but sometimes I find it difficult to walk up to a complete stranger and ask them “Hey is it okay if I can take pictures of you simple trying to enjoy your day?”. Sounds like a weird thing to ask right?

Thankfully, this man was very nice and completely fine with me taking pictures! Also he completely ignored that I was even there which really made for some nice pictures :).

You go skim board surfer dude!

Thanks for Visiting

Yo! I’m so glad you’re here! You should totally check out my other posts to get tips on photography and traveling ;).

Let’s Chat

Are you hanging out on the beach today? Why don’t you go ahead and rub it in my face in the comments below.

Or maybe you too are wishing to enjoy the beach while siting inside at home with a million fans pointed at you. Comment below and we’ll start a very specific support group.

Things to know before you go – Barbados

Hello all! If you saw my last post, you know that it was all about the amazing adventure you can have in Barbados. However, visiting somewhere new can always present unique challenges.

There are a few things you should keep in mind so that you can get the most our of your trip:

Driving

We decided to rent a car, which proved to be an… interesting experience. Within the first 5 minutes of leaving the airport, we had hit a curb on the left side of our car, resulting in a flat. I was optimistic. I wanted an adventure and I took this as such!

We didn’t want to go back and have to wait to exchange the car, so we called the company and said we’d go on with the 40 mile spare until they were able to come to our hotel and replace it.

After that we decided to get lost! Well… we didn’t really decide too, it just kind of happened. You would think people who have never read a map in their lives would go all out on a GPS system, but this was not the case. What was the result of our decision? It took us about 2 hours to find out hotel.

So, for all you lovelies out there, these are some tips on driving on Barbados I wish we had known:

  • Barbados driver’s stay to the left of the road while the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. Many of you reading in the United States will find this completely unnerving at first and it might come of as difficult. Do not fear! It’s quite easy to learn, but like everything, it takes time.
  • Be cautious of the roundabouts. Instead of having traffic lights, many roads have roundabouts. At first we really had little to no knowledge of how these worked or what we were supposed to do. Just be sure to look in the direction of traffic and wait for a clearing. Like us, you’ll probably be in love with roundabouts by the time you leave.
  • Learn to read a map. Even with a GPS, having a map is extremely useful.
  • Ask for direction. Set aside the pride and pull over to ask for directions. People who live in Barbados are lovely and more than happy to give you directions. However, whether you understand those directions is something entirely different. Many times we’d receive direction in the context of “Turn at where Jo’s tractor used to sit and then a left where Maggie lived a couple years back.”. They meant well.
  • The locals don’t honk to be rude, it’s simply their way of communicating while on the road.
  • Roads are narrow so try and be aware of your surroundings and be careful of cars coming at you from the opposite direction.
  • 103.3 was my favorite radio station :).

 

Money

Here’s something awesome, $1 USD equals 2 Barbadian dollars. So everywhere you go you can automatically make it half off! It may not be any cheaper than what it originally would be, but I just find it so satisfying to think of it that way. Instant discounts!!!

Food

To eat on vacation is usually expensive anyway, but you have to remember that it can get outrageous somewhere that’s landlocked. Here’s some tips on how to survive with your wallet intact:

  • Get a hotel room with a fridge or condo with a kitchen. I see either one of these as a necessity in Barbados. Being able to cook for yourself and make sandwiches to take to the beach is convenient and a lifesaver for those on a budget. It can also help to limit the amount of times you go out to eat on your trip. We made a goal to go out only once a day at the most.
  • Buy fresh foods. Things like chips and other junk food products are twice as expensive there than they are back home. Choose instead to spend your money on local produce such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Not only is it cost efficient, it’s also delicious!
  • Look up restaurant prices before you go. Going to an expensive restaurant every now in then is a nice treat, but you can’t do it every night. Be sure to look up where your going to make sure it’s not pricier than you thought.
  • Burger’s in Barbados don’t taste like ones from the States. You really don’t need this knowledge, I just thought you should know because I was a little disappointed.

 

These were some tips I wish I had known before making my way to the beautiful island! I hope they helped you out! If you want to read about the fun stuff, check out my last post Adventure in Barbados. There you can get tips on must see places and our favorite restaurants that you have to try!

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Thanks for Visiting

I hope this post gave you everything you need to know to make your trip to Barbados a success! Be sure to stick around for more travel tips and posts about photography 🙂

Let’s Chat

“I’m all alooooonnnnnneeeeee.” I’d love to here what you guys think in the comments below!

Adventures in Barbados

Hello lovelies! During these difficult and… sweaty summer months, my mind always seems to turn back to one thought. “Man, I wish I was at the beach right now!” I’m sure most of you feel the same way, so I have decided to share a place that I often daydream about and should be on the top of all your travel lists. 😉

Back in April 2017, we set off on an adventure to the wonderful island of Barbados. For years the only beach we ever thought of going to was in Florida, which has also been great and we’ve always had a wonderful time. After a while though… it all felt a bit, how do I say, repetitive. So, I began my search for somewhere new and exciting!

I researched a lot of different islands, both of United States territories and British territories, but only one really caught my eye. Barbados, a relatively small island, (only around 169 sq miles (439 km)) but filled to the brim with an abundance of things to see and do. I was excited and nervous to ask my family about making a change from our former plans to try something different. To my surprise they said yes!

Must see/do in Barbados

 

The Animal Flower Cave

This was one of my favorite places in Barbados, and we didn’t even get to go into the actual cave. The reason for this is that the waves that day were so large, they had flooded the cave and made it too dangerous to enter.

I think that one of the most interesting things about this island is that you have two completely opposite environments on either side. On one side you have very calm waters that are great for snorkeling playing in the water. On the other you have massive waves, such as the ones in the photos above. Sometimes these can be great for surfing, but most often it’s very dangerous so be careful!

*TIP* –  Be on the look out for a ship wreck while visiting this site! It might not be there any longer, but during our trip there was an abandoned boat about a mile off the marked path on top of the cliffs. We decided to check it out.

IMG_2095 (1)-2During a massive storm, this boat was pushed all the way up and onto the crag. What a scary day for those sailors!

Wildlife reserve

The wildlife reserve is a fun activity to enjoy during your trip if you are looking to spend more time in nature. You’ll see an amazing variety of animals (most of which are roaming free) and you’ll get a nice hike around the forest. Most of the animals are quite tame and like to keep to themselves, but I wouldn’t test them if I were you.

Keep on the lookout for Green Monkeys! These little guys have a green tint to their fur and are hilarious to watch! You might even see a few outside of the wildlife reserve (usually vandalizing property).

Bathsheba

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So, you’ve most likely heard of this place before and this might be a little repetitive, but you HAVE to see Bathsheba while you’re in Barbados. It’s not an option. This was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in my life. It’s especially spectacular during sunset as you can see in the photo above.

One thing I wish was different however, was the cleanliness of the area. You can’t see it, but on the opposite side from where this picture was taken there was so much trash that had either been washed up by the ocean or was left by selfish tourists. It’s still a gorgeous sight to see, but please remember to dispose of your garbage properly and treat this area with respect.

Relax on the beach

Just spending a day on the beach can be so enjoyable. Remember that you don’t have to be exploring and doing something the whole time your away to enjoy yourself. Vacation is about unwinding and relaxing before going back to the real world.

So sit back with a drink, listen to the waves, and watch the locals go about their daily routines. If there’s an opportunity to go jet skiing, than you might as well do that too ;).

Catamaran Cruise

We went on one of these cruises our last day on the island and it was FABULOUS. They took us to two different areas we’re we could snorkel over the coral reefs and we even got to see a few shipwrecks! Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from the experience due to the lack of proper equipment, so you’ll just have to see it for you self. *Hint hint*.

I did however, manage to catch some shots of the sea turtles, who will also join you on the swim.

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Good eats

Here’s a list of all our favorite restaurants we visited during our stay

  • The Fish Pot in Speightstown. – This restaurant is on a beautiful location right off the beach. THey have delicious food and amazing service, though it can get a bit pricey.
  • Juma’s in Speightstown – Juma’s has a really nice environment and is also right off the beach. It has many interesting and delicious choices for dinner.
  • Dina’s in Bathsheba – By far one of the best restaurants I have ever been to in my life. I know that sounds like I’m exaggerating but it’s true! This little hole-in-the-wall is located directly in front of the boulder that the town – Bathsheba – got it’s name from. (Try the red snapper, it’s amazing!)
  • Orange Street Grocer in Speightstown  – This restaurant is a bit more relaxed which is perfect if you’ve spent all day on the beach and just want to get up and head out to dinner. They have awesome food and nice service. They also have a good breakfast and make great coffee!

Thanks for Visiting

Wait? That’s it?

Nope! This is only part one my dear internet people! In a few days I’ll be uploading a post that it includes everything you need to know to make your trip to Barbados an amazing (and safe) one. Stay tuned!

P.S. – Please excuse the quality of the photo’s throughout this post. I had only had my camera for about a month when we left for our trip so I was still trying to learn.

Let’s chat

Have you ever been to Barbados? Do you want to go? What’s been your favorite vacation destination? Let me know in the comments below!

Catch of the Day

Isn’t nature amazing? During my relaxing get-away to Florida I saw an abundance of wildlife, and one that I was always brought a smile to my face was the sea hawk. They would show up around 5 or 6 o’clock in the afternoon to start searching for their dinner.

These winged specimens would circle in the sky waiting for the perfect moment to strike before diving into the waves, most often coming up with a nice dinner! I was fortunate to see this many time during my trip, but I only had the chance to photograph it once. Of course you pull out a camera and everything interesting around you turns and runs the other direction *rolls eyes*

Cool right!?

Thanks for Visiting

Well hello beautiful person of the internet! I am so happy you decided to click on my post. If you wanna make me even happier make sure to follow and check out some other fun stuff on my blog!

Let’s Chat

Lonely and want to talk? Or are you just a normal person who leaves comments of blogs? In either case this is the place for you! Leave a comment below and let’s chat 🙂