Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA - Archives for 2009 December

VEGAS – A RELAXING NEW YEAR’S EVE

  • December 30, 2009 4:29 pm

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I’m off to Vegas today with five friends. We just want to get away from it all. I’m sure it will be similar to a Zen retreat.

My work was none too pleased that I requested the time off just 2 days ago. Oops. I’m an idiot. I apologize. I hope I don’t come back to a pink slip.

I’m a sucker for anticipation. I always find the planning of an event or trip, better than the actual trip.

Being so busy lately, I haven’t really had a chance to get fired up for Vegas. Hopefully, in this case, I am disappointed and the actual trip will be much more enjoyable than the anticipation.

As I plan on going to a few nice restaurants while I’m there, all my loyal fans can look forward to the first blog on Saturday. Please be patient. I know you’re clammering for more and I’m only one man.

Everyone have a fantastic New Years and I’ll see you in 2010!

You never know, the world could end on the stroke of midnight instead of 2012, just to throw us off.

We didn’t give the Mayans enough credit…

BOTTEGA LOUIE

  • December 29, 2009 2:10 am

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I felt like I was in NYC when I ate here last Wednesday before the Lady Gaga conert.

The place is a white, stark warehouse. Friendly waiters. Affordable prices.

There were actual humans walking outside, not just shivering, shaking crack addicts.

Sorry, I love to perpetuate the downtown stereotype.

Me and K.B. didn’t order anything groundbreaking and we shared everything.

That way the bottle of champagne would not be thwarted on its way into our systems.

We started with the obligatory golden beet salad, which I loved.

We saw someone order the Chicken Parmesean, so we followed suit. Very good, perfect amount for sharing (and caring).

This wasn’t the best pic I took of the dish, but I loved that it turned out kind of trippy. Like it was taken after a nuclear holocaust.

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We ordered brussel sprouts which were awesome and a very light, simple Cesar Salad.

“You had a Caesar salad, Clarice. But not today” – Hannibal Lecter

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Lady Gaga put on quite the show. I’ve never seen such visuals (or had such hearing loss).

If you are able to go, do, because it’s unforgettable.

Because of great connections, we were able to snag great seats (almost) up front and VIP passes.

The VIP passes did not mean backstage, nor did it mean free drinks.

This did not stop us from spending much of our time (and money) in the VIP section. Because, WE are VIP and that’s what we do.

700 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(866) 418-9162
www.bottegalouie.com

Christmas, Bloody Christmas.

  • December 26, 2009 2:59 pm

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If I’m not blogging about a restaurant, I don’t usually like writing about anything unless a subject really hits me. Forces me to write about it.

I’m sitting here, early morning, the day after Christmas.

The presents have all been opened (and forgotten)

We’ve all eaten our guts out.

We’ve all seen A Christmas Story twice.

The thrill is gone.

Or did that leave when we became teenagers?

As adults, does anything really excite us anymore?

I remember, as a child, always feeling one of three extreme emotions:

Excited

Pissed Off

Scared to Death

Why do the latter feelings translate into adulthood but hardly anything ever excites us anymore?

I’ve done some pretty cool things in my life but in the end, my reaction to them as been pretty ho hum, compared to playing Hide and Go Seek.

Even when I walked inside the freaking Great Pyramid in Egypt or finished my first marathon, I wasn’t as excited as I was Christmas morning.

I was hit yesterday with how “thrill” leaves us as adults.

As I watch my niece and nephew open their presents and bounce around the room, I finally realize the meaning behind our forays into drugs, extreme sports and travel.

All of which have failed to bring out the same jubuliance I felt when I got to eat a sugary cereal for a change or the feeling of riding my bike.

I think even if I were to win the lottery, my neice would be more excited that she was able to fit that green shoe on her Barbie.

Very sad.

Merry Holidays everyone.

Bun Boy

EL CONQUISTADOR

  • December 23, 2009 4:34 pm

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Best Margs in LA, hands down. Even the blended ones will F you up. Mom, you gotta try one.

One of my groups of friends (I’m very poopular) meets here every year around the Holidays (I can use the term “holidays” without wincing, because half of us are Jewish) and we have a great time!

The décor is gay Christmas Mardi Gras, there’s some type of decoration filling every square inch.

If you’re in the mood for a nice, quiet dinner, then come here, blind yourself with a fork and shove tamales in your ears. Then you’ll be set.

Wow, that was quite graphic for a Christmas blog.

The food at El Conquistador is…well… who cares?! We love this place!

I ordered a overtly masculine peach margarita and a chicken salad. The marg was strong and not too sweet, surprisingly.

The salad was…well…We love this place!

I gotta run, I have better things to do than blog all day! I have to do some personal stuff online while at work, naturally.

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3701 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(323) 666-5136
www.elconquistadorrestaurant.com

9021PHO

  • December 22, 2009 1:57 am

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Vietnamese restaurants love cute punny names (they also love long walks on the beach). I’ve yet to visit Absolutely Phobulous, but want to – just for the name.

I would be willing to ignore the B Health Rating plastered proudly on their front door.

9021 Pho just opened in the old Jacopo’s pizza spot, which was another pizza place for a few seconds before becoming this place.

It must be a cursed spot, because the customer reviews suck!

But as I’m a fan of flashy packaging, I wanted to go regardless of a potential of rudeness and overpriced non-authentic dishes.

The vermicelli pork dish was excellent, very filling and the pork was crispy and crusty and burnt just slightly. Just enough to guarantee cancerous fragments are now floating aimlessly in my system.

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Our waitress was very nice and didn’t mind the 25 credit card pileup (always a sign of a good waitress when she doesn’t sigh heavily when presented with multiple forms of payment from a group).

The dishes were about $2 bucks above normal but oh well. We’re in Beverly Hills people, just deal with it..

It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than my 15 minute $260 dentist appointment down the road from 9021 Pho to fill in some invisible cracks than I’m sure weren’t even there.

490 N Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 275-7077

FOGO DE CHAO

  • December 18, 2009 3:26 am

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MEAT!!

My first meal out after Peru and I go back to South America.

Fogo de Chao is one of the more pricey churrascarias in town. For those of you who’ve not been to a Brazilian BBQ restaurant before, it’s the home of the Meat on a Stick!

Vegetarians beware. Or be damned!

You will probably get some meat juice on your shirt. Or a tiny meat chunk might fly in the corner of your mouth. Sorry, in advance.

Like every restaurant on La Cienega (restaurant row) you’ll get that element of chain restaurant cheese. Extremely large space. Lots of tourists. Vegas like atmosphere.

We had our firm holiday party here and it was the perfect place for it. The meat ended abruptly, just when my boss grabbed the microphone (to all the other dining guests’ delight) and did his usual end of the year speech.

As soon as the gift cards were handed out, I grabbed my jacket and left LA for Big Bear for a little weekend snow.

Hey, they didn’t announce any raises or bonuses, no point in sticking around.

133 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 289-7755
www.fogo.com

PERU – LAST DAYS IN PERU (SO, LET’S WATCH SEINFELD) #8

  • December 17, 2009 1:56 pm

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Let me tell you this. When we got back from Machu Picchu, all we wanted to do was go home. But we were stuck in Cusco/Cuzco for three more days and had to make the best of it.

The town of Cusco could not decide on a correct spelling for it’s town, as random street signs could attest to.

Of all the cities visited, Cusco was definitely the most quaint, offered the most shopping and definitely the most restaurant options. A factor Bun Boy can definitely appreciate.

We walked around town for a bit, trying not to get hit by a car and trying not to hit people asking us if we wanted “Massage? Massage?”

Here, we witnessed a minor protest. A.K. told his girlfriend he wished to join the Revolucion!

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There obviously must be no such thing as patents or trademarks!…I’ve actually already emailed this to Yahoo…

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We bought most of our crap to bring home in Cusco. “You promise you come back?”

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That evening we were taken to an Alpaca factory.

Not where they breed Alpaca’s but where you can buy authentic Alpaca clothing without wondering if the items are fake. (I still think they are, I trust no one!)

We all bought a bunch of stuff for Christmas presents (we kind of had to) and kept being told by the salespeople “The owner up front will give you good discount!”

When I went up to the woman at the front behind the register, I was promptly told “No discount for credit cards”, which was my sole monetary possibility.

So, I railed into her with a combination of Spanish and British profanities, took my overprices Alpaca scarves and hung myself with one of them.

Where the hell did that come from?…

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Our final dinner with the group was at this hip steakhouse called Fallen Angel. It could easily have been relocated to Los Angeles, although it was neither crowded nor pretentious, so never mind.

http://www.fallenangelincusco.com/

Our tables consisted of bathtubs filled with fish!

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I had a really awesome steak with this really AWFUL rancid spicy pepper dipping sauce. I didn’t think it was so awful at the time but now I really despise that flavor.

I just feel bad that people will stop coming to the restaurant because of my scathing review. I really need to get a handle on the immense power Bun Boy possesses. Such influence is a gift that I sometimes abuse.

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We spent the next few days either watching Seinfeld, Friends or the New Adventures of Old Christine (the Whitest shows on earth) on our 3 by 4 inch TV in either one of our hotel rooms just to pass the time.

When we were not there, or in the basement cafeteria eating our free breakfast each morning (Dos Huevos, por favor) we were at Paddys!

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I had two amazing meals there.

The Cottage Pie:

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And some Steak and Coleslaw sandwich. I can’t believe how good this was…drool…drool…

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We sat in the Irish pub for hours and hours, watching the toy train go around and around, trying to interpret the international soccer games and drinking Cusquena’s.

“World Cup? Someone put on Football! Who cares about the World Cup??” Captain shouted, not realizing the pub was filled with residents from the UK.

“Uh, the World?”, someone replied.

Our final dinner was horrific. The food sucked (my milkshake was warm, quite a feat) and we were accosted by a merry band of Peruvian musicians playing for us endless tunes of Incan suffering.

We definitely felt their suffering. Especially as we were forced to tip them to make them go away.

No pictures were taken to capture any of this.

At the airport, we realized our flight was cancelled.

We were already cranky and sick of each other. Everyone waited in different lines to get on the next flight otherwise we would have to wait another full day!

Billy snapped at me, Captain snapped at Billy. We just wanted to be home already.

No more Peruvian money to deal with, no more hearing the words: “Alpaca, Inca, Machu Picchu, Massage, You want to buy? I give you good price”

Well, we’re home!

It’s been a week. I don’t miss Peru, but the memory of the Inca Trail and seeing MP (I will NOT write that word out again) is still resonating strongly with me.

It was an awesome, unforgettable trip.

Where should I go next?

Somewhere with much better food, hopefully. After all, this IS Bun Boy!

PERU – FINALLY! MACHU PICCHU! WHY AM I’M YELLING!? #7

  • December 16, 2009 3:04 pm

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We woke at 3:00 a.m. the final morning. Or did they let us lounge in bed until 3:30?

Either way, we woke up damn early and hiked about 20 minutes to the Macchu Picchu entrance, which was closed for the next two hours!

We did this so we would be first in line, and we were. Fellow hikers rolled in about 30 minutes later and we proceeded to entertain (annoy) them.

Captain and I were doing our usual banter. I said something funny and she repeated it 135 times at much louder levels.

We also sang some stupid kid’s song, “Apples and Bananas (Ooples and Banoonoos)” which did not prove to be a crowd favorite.

After the gates opened to the Machu Picchu, we were off like racehorses or greyhounds (or cockroaches when the light goes on). Literally running to what we thought would be a wonder of the world,just around the corner.

We didn’t realize it would take us a good hour or so to hike to the Sun Gate, which is the first section of Machu Picchu (I think).

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We hung out their for a while, shivering and drinking our provided juice box.

Like children waiting to open presents (or waiting to be spanked, we weren’t quite sure).

Finally, we were allowed to get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu through the thick cloud cover.

Then, it was a waiting game. Just like in Rio when we visited the statue of the Christ last year. Every few seconds, the clouds would part and the object of our desire would be in full, glorious view.

Snap, snap (that’s the sound of a camera…not a new camera of course…but..well..shutup!)

Then the clouds would cover the sodding thing again!

I got my obligatory self cam pic in front of misty Machu Picchu.

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We had an hour tour by our guide of how Machu was discovered when a little boy led an explorer into this viney jungle and there it was, waiting to be…weeded, essentially.

So, they took one big weed wacker and wacked the shit out of it and there you have it.

After our tour leader, Victor said his goodbye’s, we began wandering this ancient wonderland on our own. It was pretty fantastic, I have to say. All the while, being in the clouds and in awe of that amazing view.

Well, I’ll never forget it. And my memory sucks!

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We thought this vicious gang of Alpacas were going to rip this poor dog to shreds, it was actually kind of scary! I’ll never forget the cruel determination in their eyes! They were like Mean Girls making sure the unpopular kid in school got her comeuppance!

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Here’s one last partial group photo before we began exploring on our own. This was it! We had waited, hiked, sweated, and bled for two weeks for this moment.

Our loyalties to one another were gone, this is our time now. Just like the Goonies.

Except they were loyal to one another, so never mind.

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I thought I would mix it up and crank up the edgy factor and take some shots on “sepia”. Watch out world.

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All done. Very sad. As we left, the geriatrics began piling in with their enormous, expensive cameras lugged around their wrinkled necks and their khaki shorts pulled snuggly up to their chins.

We had basically gotten to explore Machu Picchu with barely anyone else there since we arrived so ding dong early! Thank god for that.

Pushing a smiling, elderly couple out of my way, ruining the picture that took them a lifetime to prepare, I headed down to the bus depot to get the hell out of there.

We took it down the windy road to Aguas Calientes. (not “windy” the weather, but the word that is pronounced “wine-dee”)

It’s a cute town at the base of the mountain containing Machu Picchu (if I have to write that word one more time…)

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I ordered a forgettable pasta and had a bite of Captain’s cold, soggy pizza. Why haven’t we learned yet that Peruvian pizza IS NO GOOD!!??

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TOMMORROW: The final Peru blog: THE CITY OF CUZCO/CUSCO

PERU – NEVER ENDING INCA TRAIL #6

  • December 15, 2009 2:58 pm

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Day #2 of the Inca Trail proved to be EXTREMELY difficult for me. My stomach was feeling awful (It wouldn’t stop complaining, that whining organ!), I didn’t really eat anything most of the day, which meant I had zero energy for the mostly uphill climb up the endless, ancient Incan steps.

Seriously, it was ALL uphill for 8 hours. The second most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life. The sun would come out to say hello, but what it would really do is step on my back the entire time. I began to use my walking sticks as crutches.

One step at a time.

Soon, we divided into two groups. The “Slowies”, four determined and steady trekkers who would not let the fact that our entire group was about an hour ahead of us, shake our will to go on.

Bastards.

This is what our entire day looked like (you can see Jesus/Manson sitting there – see the bottom for more about him)

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But at least we weren’t carrying the loads the porters were carrying.

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I was soon made fun of for my walking stick technique. I looked very odd, like a crusty old hermit walking up to his shack in the mountains. Cantankarous. Haggard.

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The apex of the entire climb was Dead Woman’s Pass, almost 14,000 feet in elevation!

This dead woman sure was a bitch!

By the time we finally got to the top, completely drained, everyone half-heartedly cheering for us, I could have cared less to pass over my camera for the group picture.

Screw them for being so fast.

Us Slowies were still proud we made it without our lungs collapsing or having to consume each other’s flesh for survival.

Didn’t the movie “Alive” take place in these very mountains??

Views from the top!

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After reveling in our accomplishment (and our sweat) we began the long decent to our campsite.

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That night, we enjoyed soup (Jesus, no more soup!) It was slightly humorous to see the completely filled bowls being passed back to the cleaning crew after supper.

I could no longer take pictures of my meals. One was just like the other. Bowls and plates filled with hot, garlicky slop. It was only sustenance. Everything tasted the same. The water even tasted garlicky.

Captain, however, was still in love with it and even ate others’ unfinished “grewl”.

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Billy Goat Gruff became obsessed with learning the ancient skill of making Tea Bag T-Shirts.

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It rained that night. And didn’t stop the next morning.

I dreaded getting out of our tent the following morning, regardless of how bad it smelled (we were called Stinky Town and scolded for ruining the property values of the surrounding tents).

It was miserable getting ready in the rain.

I put on my pathetic excuse for a poncho, coveting everyone else’s rain gear NOT purchased for .99 cents.

We walked to some rainy ruins. We didn’t really enjoy them due to the miserable weather but we did our best to try.

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I wandered around a bit, as these were the coolest ruins we had seen to date, trying not to slip and break something important. I don’t care about the neck, but please God don’t let my knees give out.

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Day #3 was mostly down hill. In the rain.

The Incan steps began to look like creek beds. It was quite challenging getting down them at times, but at other times it was kind of fun.

At times the steps were INTENSELY steep. You couldn’t really enjoy the view, you were just taking one large step down at a time.

Making sure not to slip and die.

I didn’t take any pictures of those blasted steps. Just so they would feel bad.

Below is my favorite picture of the entire trip.

It was at a point where I was by myself on the trail on a section that was somewhat flat. I felt very Indiana Jones as the terrain became more jungle-like.

I walked by this unused Incan stairway and pretended I had discovered a lost city.

I was very happy.

For about an hour.

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We saw some more ruins….

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On our way down to our final campsite, I saw one of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen.

I tried to take a better picture of it but there was this strange man on the trail, I let this girl go by me first so he would attack her instead.

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Our campsite was located right next to this global community center rest stop where we grabbed a few beers (water for me) and watched our fellow Inca Trail hikers pour in with red faces and grubby shoes.

I walked barefoot with A.K. to the bathroom (I couldn’t even LOOK at those shoes for the remainder of the evening) and was given a lot of shit by my group for this. I couldn’t have cared less at that point what was on my feet. I was called Fecal Foot from then on.

There was a man we called Jesus or Manson who seemed to have a harem of dreaded, hippy girls in his wake. He was on the hike with us at random moments, always with different Manson girls.

I went to bed knowing we were 95% done with the Inca Trail.

Regardless, I slept like shit on my pebble mattress in my 23 threadcount rented sleeping bag.

COMING TOMORROW:

Machu Picchu!! (about bloody time)

PERU – THE INCA TRAIL (of tears) #5

  • December 14, 2009 2:59 pm

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I have to admit. I only wanted to come to Peru to hike the Inca Trail and see Machu Picchu.

I didn’t have much interest in indigenous life, local customs, gnawing on cooked rats wearing crowns or literally crapping my way around the country.

I really had NO interest in Peru in general but was so glad I had joined this tour and was able to see and experience more than just Macchu. Sure, I wasn’t going to love everything I did.

But that’s all part of travel. Travel is 50% experiencing other cultures and 50% appreciation of home.

As I crouch over my laptop at 5:30 in the morning in my freezing bedroom, desperately searching for a hat to cover my frozen ears, recapping my adventure, I realize I am the Cynical Traveller.

I am a cynical person in general, looking hard for something, anything to poke fun of. Making sure the glass is always half empty. And I’m fine with that.

Why not poke fun of other countries and not just my own??

The day before we started the trail, we spent time at the ruins at Ollantaytambo, which was built as the personal estate for Emperor Pachacuti.

That’s all I felt like Wikipedia-ing.

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Uh oh! We were winded after only 15 steps! This wasn’t a good sign for the 26 miles of Incan steps we would soon be traversing.

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I was still not feeling well at dinner, which took about 76 hours to finally arrive after we ordered. Captain’s pizza was cold so she asked our tour leader, Fernando, if they could reheat it.

Instead, he grabbed the pizza and shoved it in the brick oven himself! Captain commented that his tip was slowly increasing.

This was a Lomo Saltado sandwich (A Peruvian beef dish encorporating Asian flavors)

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We began the Inca Trail early Sunday morning. It all started inocuously enough. A flat, rocky path. My walking sticks in hand (borrowed from someone who had decided she was too ill to be able to complete the four day trek – Thanks Jen!)

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We took a break at this really great vista, overlooking some more Incan terraces. Instead of taking a picture of it, I took a picture of the animals we found there.

We originally thought this horse was dead, as A.K. and myself snuck over to poke it’s corpse.

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This cow clearly was on a Quinoa soup only diet!

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One of the lovely Squat toilets we had become accustomed to. Leg muscles required, people!

I don’t know how old people relieve themselves in Peru, I seriously don’t!

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When we stopped for lunch in someone’s back yard, we got our first taste of what every meal was to look like for the next four days. The porters would set up this tent and cook us soup and meat and rice and bread.

It was actually not bad. The Garlic bread bits they made were fantastic.

Here’s us escaping the rain.

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Here’s us chewing on a little something to help with altitude sickness!

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Here’s a group shot of all the porters who helped us throughout our journey, carrying EVERYTHING on their backs while running past us on the slippery, treacherous Incan steps wearing rubber sandals!

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Here’s how we slept each night. The tents began to smell after day 2 due to lots of rain and people not bathing.

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Until tomorrow folks!

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