Hot Baths in A.C. - train back to Cusco!

Aguas Calientes Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 13 › view all entries
A cute lil rainbow caterpillar I found in the city! :-D
Wednesday 27 Feb, 2008

This morning we didn't have to wake up SUPER early, but we did have to check out of the hostel by 9:00am. Luckily they allow luggage storage. All I had for breakfast was some juice and a banana. It took us some time to get all ready before we headed to the Hot Springs, so I took some time to write out a bunch of post cards. I bought a few more than the ones I had gotten in Arequipa. I learned there was a post office at the Plaza de Armas, just at the end of our road. I was satisfied with 11 postcards and went to the post office. The cost to send them was S/. 60.5!! HOLY COW! That's about $2.00 per card! :-P I paid the man and headed back to the hostel and on to the warm waters.
Gloria and Chris cross the bridge over the river on the way to the thermal baths.


We could rent a towel for S/. 3. It was very humid but I didn't want to pay for a towel, so I chose to attempt an air dry. The cost to get in to the Thermal Baths was S/. 10. The water was “murky” like we were told, but I didn't think it was gross or anything. It's full of medicinal minerals that heal the body! :) There were TONS of little fly-like bugs jumping around on the ground by the pools. I looked at some of them closely, and they had some intricate neon-color designs! This place reminded me of Sol Duc (hot springs in Washington State) due to the “structured” pools. Chris asked a local about getting in, and they only pay 1 sole! :-P We stayed in the pools for about an hour. We heard about some waterfalls that were a good long hike down the path; Chris learned of one just a few minutes away.
the "eyebrow" of the rainforest is full of beautiful flowers!
I would have gone except that it started raining lightly.

I decided to go straight back to the hostel and pay my S/. 3 for a shower. They put me in the same room we had stayed in: 208. It appeared to have been partially cleaned. :) The beds were re-made but the bathroom was still a mess. I took my shower, and just like with Chris the night before, the entire bathroom was soaking wet when I was done! It kind of seemed like the Hot Spring water had somehow stained my skin... it appeared I had a tan line! Weird!! Gloria came in right when I was getting dressed. I packed up my bag and went downstairs. When Gloria was done with her shower it was POURING rain.

We had about 2 hours until our train back to Cuzco. We went to a restaurant basically across the street. We did the “tourist menu” again since everything else was so expensive.
The structure that contains the thermal baths with the river on the left side! Bathing in beauty!!
At the Restaurant Pizzeria “Quilla” I got the crema de chanpiñon, alpaca a la parrilla, panqueque de chocolate and free pisco sour! The food was “okay” considering it was only S/. 15. During the entire meal it was raining buckets! By the time we were done it had let up a bit. Gloria wandered off while I tried to catch up on journaling. There were 2 ladies in the front room of the hostel watching TV loudly, so I didn't want to sit there. I went down the road a bit and ran into Omar! I gave him a dime I had and we chatted a bit and exchanged emails. The weather kept raining the entire time so I just tried to finish journaling from the day before.

When Chris showed up again there were two younger girls using his reflector as an umbrella!! I asked him about it, cause I always thought he was a lot more particular about his equipment staying nice and clean, and he said it wouldn't hurt and it's also about 9 years old.
a beautiful Inca-themed painting at the hotbaths!!
We were a bit disappointed that it was raining cause we had to walk about 5 minutes to the train station. I used my poncho to cover my bag. We got into the station which was super-packed! We were able to get onto the train right away... we had to walk around to the other side of the platform. We were in car C and the first train we saw only had an A & B! We figured it all out and got to our seats facing each other in twos. Chris was next to me and Gloria across.

A Japanese girl sat down next to Gloria but soon moved so she could be next to her friend. Then a Peruvian gal sat down instead. We learned her name is Jessica, she's from Cusco and is a tour guide at Machu Picchu.
the medicinal baths just a short hike away from Aguas Calientes. 10 soles for travelers, 1 sole for locals. :)
She is 28 years old and went to school to be a guide in Japanese! She said she's been to Machu Picchu over 1,000 times! WHOA! She passed out (looked very uncomfortable) on the train and got off at Ollantaytambo. I took a few photos from the train but it was getting dark quickly. We stopped at one place in Cusco and over half the train got off. They had buses continuing into Cusco for only 20 min or so, versus the rest of the train ride which was supposed to last another hour. We stayed on because we didn't want to pay for another bus, and Augusta was meeting us at the station.

We got off and got our bags and Augusta had a taxi ready for us. We asked for a hostel that accepts credit cards because both Gloria and I were out of soles.
the hot baths are surrounded by beautiful, lush scenery!!
  We stopped at a nice place and Augusta and Chris went in to ask about a room. It was all good so we stayed at Hotel Wiracocha. We went up to our room #12 and it was very different from all the places we had been before! This was an old colonial house with squeaky wooden floors, lots of windows, metallic gold bedsheets, and a loft!! Gloria took the upstairs bed and said it had retro 70's-looking bed sheets! We were kinda hungry so Gloria and I went out to look for something. We walked to the Plaza de San Francisco which was only a block away. We had been there before when we were wandering and I didn't feel well. We chose a random road and kept walking and chatting. After a while we realized we were in a very “local” part of town and there weren't any restaurants. We were going to turn left and then return to where we had come on a different road.
one of the many beautiful butterflies in the Aguas Clientes/Machu Picchu area! I waited all day for one to land!
When we reached an area to turn there were train tracks and a bridge going over to a different area of town! We chose to turn around completely and walk the same road.

We ended up going into a small local place that had empanadas listed on their menu. We went in to the tiny place and sat at the counter where there was space. The TV was showing the futbol game which most of the city was watching because it was a local team. The restaurant didn't have empanadas (my guess is they ran out) so Gloria got some fried rice that had a lot of green onions, and I got a chicken sandwich. I noticed a pitcher of chicha at the end of the counter and asked for some. Gloria was a bit paranoid that the water may not have been boiled (=clean) but I got it anyway. The whole meal was only S/. 3 each!! After dinner we returned to the hostel and the guy opened their large, old-fashioned, chain-locked door! We got to bed as quickly as possible cause we have an early flight back to Lima in the morning.
dinner in A.C. - this was like a cream of mushroom soup.
I put in my headphones cause there was some loud music playing nearby outside. (at midnight!) Buenas Noches!

[9:05 am - local Houston time 29/02/08] - time & date of journal entry

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
A cute lil rainbow caterpillar I f…
A cute lil rainbow caterpillar I …
Gloria and Chris cross the bridge …
Gloria and Chris cross the bridge…
the eyebrow of the rainforest is…
the "eyebrow" of the rainforest i…
The structure that contains the th…
The structure that contains the t…
a beautiful Inca-themed painting a…
a beautiful Inca-themed painting …
the medicinal baths just a short h…
the medicinal baths just a short …
the hot baths are surrounded by be…
the hot baths are surrounded by b…
one of the many beautiful butterfl…
one of the many beautiful butterf…
dinner in A.C. - this was like a c…
dinner in A.C. - this was like a …
Glorias soup was very chunky! so …
Gloria's soup was very chunky! so…
this was my main course - pollo y …
this was my main course - pollo y…
Glorias main course was spaghetti…
Gloria's main course was spaghett…
during dinner it started POURING r…
during dinner it started POURING …
the nice local lady who is a Japan…
the nice local lady who is a Japa…
on the train back to Cusco - the r…
on the train back to Cusco - the …
on the train - we passed some othe…
on the train - we passed some oth…
the train, river, fog!
the train, river, fog!
Aguas Calientes
photo by: Vikram