Cusco to Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu!!
Machu Picchu Travel Blog› entry 7 of 13 › view all entries
February 26th, 2008 – by: superpouf
This was a super early morning! No shower as we rushed to meet Augusta on time. We had to pay for the hostel in cash again. It was S/. 108 and I paid S/. 100 of it. We piled into the taxi and headed to the train station. Here we had to wait a bit for Augusta and Chris to work everything out with all the tickets. We eventually get onto the PeruRail train and the luggage can be stored overhead on racks or between and under the seats. I'll catch up later! G'day!
The train ride was very interesting. We started going one way, then we stopped and went backwards! Then we stopped again! We did this multiple times as the train switched tracks to go up a hill! The tracks were very close to people and houses outside the windows.
We met some nice people on the train. The guy who sat next to Gloria was named Thomas and he's from Holland. We chatted quite a bit with him during the 4-hour train ride. There was also a nice couple directly across from Gloria and Thomas (sideways). Their names were Danny and Thais who both live in Miami but are originally from Cuba. The train was fun because we passed all kinds of interesting scenery. Beautiful fields and farms and rivers and farm animals. We stopped in a few small towns, including Ollantaytambo, where there are more ruins. Some passengers got on or off at these stops.
Chris wandered the train a lot and made some friends with people from Argentina and Chile. The guy Thomas was very cool... he's been playing the violin since he was very young and his mother plays the harp! He's 25 and works in energy. Gloria got a website from him for the band he plays with. The ride went quickly and when we arrived in Aguas Calientes there were some people waiting to take us to our hostel: Royal Inti Inn. No cars in this town! We had to walk, but it wasn't far at all. :)
Our hostel was SO new (only open a month, I think) that the #'s on the doors are written on paper! There's also no curtain for the shower, which just makes the entire bathroom soaking wet.
I felt bad we were delaying Machu Picchu even longer, but I was quite hungry and the buses leave as soon as they're mostly full. The sandwiches were done quicker than 10 min and we took them onto the bus to eat.
Chris had some trouble with his large camera bag. They made him go back to the security area so they could inspect the bag's contents.
The place is absolutely humongous!! It's so amazing to think these ancient native warriors chose this beautiful location as their home! On the bus ride up, Chris kept asking how they got up there through the thick jungle and what did they eat?! This location is at the “eyebrow” of the rainforest!.
We never made it to the remote areas on the hill where they have the “sun gate” and this is where the “typical” Machu Picchu photo is often taken. Gloria and I had a good time wandering and taking photos. After about an hour I said I wanted to be alone for a bit to meditate. One thing I completely forgot on this day was the BUG REPELLANT!! Very, very necessary! Of all the days on this trip, TODAY was the most bug-infested! Nothing I could do and I got bitten a few times but it wasn't horrible.
As it had been described to me, Machu Picchu is very spiritual, full of energy and mystery and wonder! I had such a wonderful time and during the time I was chillin in my spot, the sun shone on a far mountain! And within 30 min or so, it was sunny all over Machu Picchu! It was so spectacular!!! :-P I wandered a while on my own, sort of discovering things myself. I saw a small gopher/squirrel-like animal which was very cute. There were many beautiful flowers of a variety of bright colors. Also pretty butterflies and birds. The whole experience was incredibly majestic! I met a nice couple from Wisconsin: Karyn and Tom.
Stop for now.
[5:32 pm 27/02/08]
I kept running into tour groups. Apparently about 90% of visitors have guides. As nice as it is to hear all about the cool features, I really like to do my own wandering. During my wanderings by myself I sat down to rest briefly and a tour group was walking by. A random man said “that is a perfect picture of you.” So I asked if he would take one with my camera. The sun was bright in my face, but it was definitely a fun photo!! After a good hour or so by myself I ran into Gloria again. It was past our scheduled meeting time so we walked together looking for Chris.
I really don't think it's possible to get a bad photo in this place!! As Gloria and I were walking down all the steps we saw Chris in the distance. One part I never got up close to was the alpacas... but they were tied up, so no big deal. I preferred the real “wild” animals anyway. We got down to the bus area and waited for Chris there. I wanted to go to the bathroom, but it cost un sole! Stupid! I didn't have to go very bad so I went back to the line.
The bus ride back down was pleasant (sitting all the way in the rear again) and we chatted with a nice older couple in the row in front of us. When we got back to the hostel we were pretty pooped, so we sat around for a few. Aguas Calientes is such a tiny tourist town that every store along the road was 1) a hostel, 2) a restaurant, or 3) a souvenir shop! We had dinner at a place called Restaurant Pizeria Urpi! Our waiter was a very animated 12-year-old boy named Omar.
Before shopping I had gone to look at the rushing river and now I wanted water to drink. I got one of the huge 2.5 L bottles and some canchita snack. We were headed back to our hotel when a random guy at a restaurant asked if we could take a photo. Gloria obliged and the next thing we know we're sitting with Eric and Peter, the 40-year-old twins! They were very friendly and chatty and we probably talked with them for about an hour! Turns out they were staying in the same hostel and leaving on the same train too! What a fun day!!! Peace, Jo
[12:21am 28/02/08] - time & date of journal entry
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