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Heaven on Earth in the Peruvian Andes | One for the Road

Heaven on Earth in the Peruvian Andes | One for the Road

One For The Road - Sn 2/Ep 9One For The Road - Sn 2/Ep 9

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Jen finds elevated happiness, as she checks off a goal from her bucket list: visiting Machu Picchu.

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Transcript

- I'm Jen and I'm on a mission to nourish my hungry soul with adventures around the world one bite at a time. I'm headed to Peru on an incredible journey across desert cities, the jungle, and mountains. You've got to open yourself up to the experience and just live life. Today I'm headed to higher ground. About 10,000 feet higher, to be exact. I've landed in Cusco and I believe I'm at a little over 10,000 feet, so I am starting to feel some of the effects of altitude sickness, so my guide just handed me a bag of coca. Coca leaves is a great natural remedy, or so I hear, to alleviate some of my symptoms. Let's see if it works. I need to chew, so I'm just gonna take this much. Mm, pretty good. Put it into the side of your mouth. Ugh, it's real bitter. I've made it to my hotel. I've got this beautiful view on this balcony, and I think those coca leaves worked because I feel okay. A little touch of nausea, but I'm okay. This view ain't so bad. The hills are alive with the sounds of charangos from Sabino's workshop. He's one of the last true luthiers in all of Peru. Looking around his workshop, I'm in awe at his expertise and craftsmanship. It takes him about one full year to complete a single instrument, which makes each piece uniquely wonderful. Wow. What an honor to meet with Sabino and see his workshop and also grab my own charango. Guess I gotta learn how to play it. I've got a long way to become a charango master and a long drive ahead tomorrow, so I better get some rest. Next stop, Al Abergue Ollantaytambo. This hotel is perfectly nestled within the Sacred Valley and it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Whoa, it is so beautiful, and this view. So not only do I have a great view from the inside, but I also get this view from the balcony. Hello, Sacred Valley. I can't believe I'm going to be waking up and looking at the Andes. Joaquin lives, breathes, and eats Al Abergue. He's passionate about supporting his community and sharing it with others so they too can fall in love with the land and its people. - [Joaquin] This is the house I was born and raised in, so this is kind of more than a business, it's my family home. - [Jen] Their organic farm sits across Incan terraces and supplies the restaurant daily with fresh produce. Hi. Past the farm, I can see the sweet school they've built. His daughter is one of the students there and soon his son will fill up a seat. There he is with his beautiful wife. I love how they have their own little organic farm. Can I just come and stay here forever? I'll come, I'll help with the farming, I'll have my babies, they'll go to school, then they'll do the farming. But they even have their own pachamanca. It's a Peruvian meal I've been dreaming of trying, and since I'm in the land of potatoes, you know it's gonna be good, so hot rocks cook the root vegetables, some marinated meats, and corn, which Oscar, the head of farm, says was picked right from the patch behind us. - This is kind of the soul of your lunch. This is a family close related to marigold. We call it here chinco. - [Jen] They use branches and branches of it to top off the earthen meal to infuse its essence, and now I play the waiting game, which is torture, especially with refreshing cocktails. Salud. Thoughtful appetizers and a front row seat to the making of pachamanca sauce, which has some of their corn, Peruvian peppers, and herbs. It looks finger-licking good. You gotta lick it before you stick it. Oh man. It's lunch time. Guinea pig, anyone? They call it cuy, and it's actually really good. Not only was this my first pachamanca, but it was also Romy's. What better way to digest than to have a tour of their roasting house and distillery? This is what heaven smells like. I gotta have a taste. Mm. They get their beans from local producers in Cusco and roast and brew it in house. Oh. Oh, it's so nice. Just steps away is their distillery, where they take onyeaso, which is made from locally produced sugar cane and turn it into a spirit called cana alta. So these are the taste testers and all you have to do is spray into your mouth. I've got Hierba Luisa here. That's also my favorite tea. Got some in my face. Mm. The tasting doesn't end there. Oh Peru, once again you know how to show a girl a good time. It was such a good morning. I had one of the best sleeps in my life, and this view, it doesn't get old. I'm waiting to board onto this beautiful train called Peru Rail, and I've left the best day of this trip for last. Internally, I am freaking out, because I have been waiting for this day for a really long time. I'm headed to Machu Picchu, yo. After a short walk through the small town of Aguascalientes and a 20 minute bus ride, I made it to the entrance of Machu Picchu. What's interesting about these ruins is that they're so mysterious because the Incans actually didn't have a written language, so there are some assumptions here and there, but what I really wanna show you is this stone work. These massive stones are pretty much precisely cut so that they fit so perfectly, almost like Legos. Look at this wall. You can't even fit a piece of paper in here. It's crazy. After quite a bit of a climb, I've made it to the most iconic view of Machu Picchu. I have to say I'm feeling quite emotional because ever since I was eight years old and I first opened this magazine that had this picture of Machu Picchu, and that moment that I knew it existed, that's when I said, "You know what, one day I'm gonna travel. I'm gonna go right there and see it in person," and that's today, and I feel like I'm gonna cry, and I'm trying not to, but at the same time, I gotta feel this, you know, and that's the thing about travel. You've gotta open yourself up to the experience, to the sites, the sounds, the smells, the taste, and just live life.

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