Aguas Calientes or call it “Aguas turisticas”.

Aguas Calientes Travel Blog

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Sometimes little villages or cities become a destination for travelers from all around the world “just” because they are located close to some famous historical sight. In such cases the little village or city usually mutate from a sleepy and peaceful place where people follow their traditions and customs to an artificial unpersonal amusement park dedicated to fulfill as many touristic wishes as possible. The predominant buildings are usually hotels, restaurants or bars and souvenir shops. Local people spend their long working day in this artificial clean world to return in the evenings back into their shabby houses which are usually hidden from the eyes of the tourists. These kind of places you can find all over the world, they look all pretty the same.

Well, this was a bit the impression I had from Aguas Calientes as well.

Especially now by daylight. Dan was waiting for us as agreed at the stop of the buses to Machu Picchu, he looked better already. We still had some two hours left before the departure of our train to Ollaytaytambo so we spread out to have a look on what was around. Marian had seen some souvenirs he thought to buy, so he asked me to help him. With a little bargaining he had soon some items for his family at home for a good price.

Of course we had the time for some lunch as well and then slowly the time was approaching when we were supposed to catch our train. The only problem was we didn’t know from where it was departing. Following the rails which divided little Aguas Calientes into two parts wasn’t such a bad idea.

It's actually a pretty boring town.
One big market to cross (not a bad sales strategy to locate it there) and then we suddenly saw the station’s entrance.

We were supposed to travel business class now, well, I couldn’t notice so much difference between the wagon that brought us here compared to this one. The difference was in the service and I don’t mean just the lunch boxes we received right on the beginning after the departure. The main difference to the economy / touristic class, which was half the price, was a show of the railway employees. Honestly, I’ve never seen something similar before. We’ve been traveling for some 30 minutes when a guy in a traditional woolen mask appeared and danced with a woolen snake figure between the seats. What followed was even more incredible. The train steward and stewardess (don’t know else how to call them) disappeared one by one on the toilette and came out in different woolen pullovers…and started to make a fashion show!!!!! Hahahaha, couldn’t believe my eyes.

In front of the train station.
While the guy was changing on the toilet the nice looking stewardess made her catwalk and then they changed. Of course we clapped a lot, especially to the female performer. She surely felt a bit ashamed, it was slightly visible on her face when Dan made a picture every time she passed by. On the end of the show the passengers got the “chance” to purchase some of the clothes he could just see.

Some time later we were arriving in Ollaytaytambo. As promised the taxi we agreed on the day before was waiting for us. The driver was the same, looked like his brother was busy again.

This time he was a bit sad. The police stopped him in the morning and as he didn’t have an official taxi driver license (not the best news to find out) they gave him a high fine. We really felt sorry for him, the amount he told us sounded a lot even for us. He hoped that he could solve it with a friend by the police but if not, he would get in some problems. While I was translating our driver’s problems to my friends I didn’t notice that Dan was getting worse again. We didn’t know it at that time but for him this was just the beginning of his “soroche experience”.

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Its actually a pretty boring town.
It's actually a pretty boring town.
In front of the train station.
In front of the train station.
Having some lunch...
Having some lunch...
ON the way back to Cuzco.
ON the way back to Cuzco.
ON the way back to Cuzco.
ON the way back to Cuzco.
In the train - picture from Marian.
In the train - picture from Marian.
In the train - picture from Marian.
In the train - picture from Marian.
Aguas Calientes
photo by: Vikram