Today we set out in the morning to Ollantaytanbo to catch a train for Aguas Calientes where the base of Machu Picchu is. The ride from Cusco was by a private car, and I’m never sure where miscommunication happens but we could not communicate that we didn’t want the windows down when there were fumes or dust from trucks in front of us, and wanted ac because when we closed our windows, we got too hot. It was like a game with us rolling windows up and him turning on the vents, but not the ac, and back and forth.
Anyhow, we arrived in plenty of time to get some food to eat for lunch and catch one of the most scenic train rides winding through first the countryside, then the jungle. Huge mountains towered above our sky-lit train and the windows all around made it easy to see. We met a family from the US who were visiting with her three children, dad and son were on a hike, and the two daughters were with the mom on the train. They were really nice, and the kids were being home schooled. No longer do I think the stigma of home schooling exists, and with all the craziness that happens in the public school system, I think it’s pretty cool to have a field trip to Peru when I was learning about the Incas.
We arrived to Aguas Calientes and we were greeted by the worker at the hostel, and she led us to our hostel. We were warned that they weren’t as nice as Cusco, and sure, that’s understandable. It’s a launching point for a hike, not a luxury b&b. We got into our plain room, and put our stuff down to go explore the little town and see the hot springs.
After wandering around we came to the gate of the warm springs and we entered to take some photos, then liked what we saw and headed back down to get our trunks on so we could take a dip. It’s been really hard to gauge anything because some people say it’s terrible, some people say it’s great. I thought it was fine, relaxing, and fun to talk to others sitting in the water with you. I also like the idea at the medicinal qualities of it may be doing some good too.
After the springs, we headed back and got ready to find dinner. We found a restaurant that seemed decent, though as touristy everything is, it was pricy. Per warning, they tried to slide in a 20% surcharge on top of the bill which we didn’t pay. Typical of tourist places.
After we ate. We headed for our hiking orientation and met our guide, Nayruta, who was telling us we needed to know for our very early morning tomorrow to see Machu Picchu at sunrise!