Thursday, October 18, 2007

Aguas Calientes

Day 8: August 29, 2007

Leaving the High Andes for Aguas Calientes

Even at lower elevations it’s very cold at night and without hot water bottles in my sleeping bag I was pretty chilly. Still in the same clothes as 3 days ago and I smell pretty bad. I miss my friends. It’s lonely out here in the middle of nowhere. Can’t wait to get to town this morning to file a police report and hopefully get some fresh clothes. Ate a full breakfast and broke camp.

Walked down the river through many farms and then climbed up a hill to Puma Marka, an old Inca ruin. Mosquitoes caught up with us in the ruins. I'm not sure how they got up that high, but with my repellant stolen there wasn't a lot I could do about them.

Walked to Ollantaytambo and tried to file a police report. The policeman said that it wasn’t his jurisdiction and that I had to go to Cuzco. Lovely. Had lunch in a sketchy little restaurant. Coc's pick, not mine. It wasn't very good and there were flies.

Bought a new suit of clothes in the market where the locals shop. Walked through a very unimpressive museum. Waiting now at the train station. Oh, we also copied Coco’s pics to a CD and I tried calling home but no one picked up on any lines. Not sure the phone worked here.

I took the train to Aguas Calientes. Pretty ride. I recommend the train to anyone else wanting to visit Machu Pichu (skip the hike, just take the train all the way from Cuzco). We unloaded our stuff at the hotel near the end of the railroad tracks. No hot water as usual. It’s a very expensive and touristy town by Peruvian standards. 20 soles for a tiny cheap pizza. It’s highway robbery.

We went to the hot springs up the hill to relax after the hike. They were warm, but not bubbly, and they were very green and dirty. Showered at the hotel after and took care of some business at an internet café. Then took Coco to dinner. He picked a restaurant on the plaza. We both had fillet mignon and a bottle of Peruvian red wine. The wine was barely ok, the steak was awful and the whole thing was quite expensive, 135 soles or so. Coco said he really enjoyed it. I think his taste is in his feet. We drank until everyone else in the square had departed. Not hard to do in Peru. Got to bed around 1:30AM. Freezing in hotel. Sheets smell bad too.

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