Day 39 & 40 – Ollantaytambo & Aguas Calientes, Peru
Welcome to Ollantaytambo! Giant Ruins with 428 Steps! (I counted to keep myself from fainting in the heat!) What well placed ruins. Such beauty. I do truly love Peru. I think I might come back and live in this country at some point in my life.
So, I got up early, as normal, around 6:30am, had breakfast in Cuzco, then headed to the bus station, err not really a bus station, more of an alcove with mini busses, and for 10 Sole ($3.75 CAD), Janet (travel buddy since Arequipa) and I took the 2 hour mini bus ride from Cuzco to Ollantaytamba. (Who is having trouble pronouncing that name? I certainly did the first 20 times. I got it now.) The bus ride was scenic, but we got held up by a blown up truck on the road, so our minibus took a detour through the back roads. It was a bumpy ride that my butt may not of appreciated, but my eyes certainly did! With the mountains surrounding, we passed by a few small villages that looked so undisturbed by outside life and rush. It was beautiful. I am happy for detours.
Upon arrival we checked into our hostel and immediately headed to the Ollantaytambo Ruins. They are a 2 block walk from the main plaza. The town only has about 10 streets. Since and quiet. At least until the hordes of tourist buses came barrelling through in the afternoon. But we had the morning and early afternoon to ourselves.
We entered and it is HUGE. Up, up, up we climbed. 428 stairs. We stopped here and there to explore anything and everything around. It was a sweltering day, and my sunburn proves it. (I was wearing 50 SPF sunscreen – useless)
We spent the evening watching movies in the Hostel. I figure that is a good way to spend an evening building anticipation for Machu Picchu in 2 days time!
The next day we wandered around the city and took the road out of town for a 2 hour walk along a random path. We did not know where it went, and we did not care. We strolled care free through stunning scenery. At noon we caught our train up to Aguas Calientes – the city at the base of Machu Picchu. Mandatory Train Photo:
The city is not much, just the tourist trap before Machu Picchu. We ate dinner – I had my favourite: Aji de Gallina (Chicken & Potatoes smothered in yellow curry sauce) – and we hung out in the Hostel for the evening. We stayed at Supertramp hostel, and besides the devious name, the hostel is amazing, with incredible art all over the place. We went to bed early – 21:00 – like good elderly people (I have the soul of an old person but am only 22) – for tomorrow we head to Machu Picchu. With a 07:00 Wayna Picchu entrance time – it would be a 04:30 wake for us!
Tomorrow: MACHU PICCHU!!!!!!!!!