Peru Day 7 – Cusco to Aquas Calient
So there I am packing up for an early morning when I hear the hotel buzzer buzz. Its about 12:30 and its Tim coming back. Problem is they all fell asleep, so he buzzes and bangs and calls up to me but I can´t let him in cause we are locked into the hotel. He just buzzes for 20 minutes till they finally let him in.
And of course we have a 9:30 taxi.
I get up around 8:30 to run some errands, I wanted to get some food and take some last minute pictures of the Incan ruined walls that make up most of the city when I open the door and its Mario, the guy who arranged our driver and our hotel (who we accidentally stood up the other night). I tell him that we have a taxi and we are going to get train tickets when we get to Olantaltyambo, he says this won´t work and while Tim is getting dressed Mario, the driver and me go to the train station and I get the backpacker train that night from Olantalytambo to Aquas Calienti.
Mario is a licensed travel agent and would be happy to arrange everything until we leave but we like a little more flexibility. We did have him get us a hotel for two night in Aquas Calient for a good price.
So we finally leave the hotel with train tickets and all our baggage and will drive about 80 miles to the train station. Our first stop )10:15) is the Incan Temple of the Sun which turns out to be the same as the Church we saw last night (but in daylight) I also was able to stop into a store and get needle and thread for my split pants.
We spent about 15 minutes there and then headed off to Chinchero where we passed a parade of children coming through the town. Since it was Sunday Chinchero was having a big Sunday market. Beyond the trinkets I really enjoyed seeing people selling alpaca yarn by the kilo and powdered pigments. The ruin in the town was right in front of a small church, the ruin itself was outstanding and just want on and on.
Around 1pm we hit the small town of Moras and I got to see donkeys up close I mean so close the flies came in the car! We then headed down this dirt road to Moray which has these Incan circular terraces. Very nice but a long hike down to the bottom and it started to rain. Tim and I just hung out for a few and walked partway down and headed out.
Our next stop was the pre-Incan salt mines. It was a very scary dirt road into a valley where a saltwater stream was diverted into a bunch of pools that dried to become salt. Very nice to see.
We got to Olantatambo at 4:15 which was just in time to get in, it was massive, Tim and I hiked up and down it till 5:30 when they through us out. It really was this entire Incan city.
When Tim realized it was 6pm and our train was at 8:30 he was a little distraught so we went into the train station and had a nice SLOW dinner, salad, soup, cheese, burger, really good food.
We met a nice couple she was Irish he was Peruvian and they met and live in India! They had a 4.5 month old with them.
Tim and I were nervous about the 2 hour train ride since technically we were not on a train that allowed luggage but nobody cared and they stored it where we could see it from our seat. (they even carried it for us).
When we got if is Aquas Caliente it was amazing. There are no roads so there are no cars! Just huge steep walkways. They had people from the local hotels with signs – It was funny my name is ´Joset Bendit´. The hotel was straight up and they helped drag our very heavy bags to the hotel. The hotel is only two months old and gorgeous (but no internet) and really the entire town is about Machu Pichu and the local hot springs.
Sunday night I packed for Machu Pichu since you can only take one small bag with you. Tim and I agreed that I could go whenever he could go whenever and we would meet up and just come back together. I set my alarm for 7am and went to bed.
[Re-posted from my University Blog & Edited 07/01/2011]