Our train to Aguas Caliente left Ollantaytambo at 9:00 p.m. The train rocked along in darkness, which only added to the anticipation of getting a glimpse of Machu Picchu.
When we arrived in Aguas Caliente and made our way to the hotel in the darkness, the sound of rushing water filled the night. The only interruption was a sudden burst of celebratory fireworks on the other side of the river. We arrived at our hotel and the sound of the water outside became that white noise that lulls you to sleep.
On the first day in Aguas Caliente, as we ate breakfast waiting for the appointed time to meet our guide. The view was exactly what I envisioned with the morning clouds covering the tops of the mountains like cotton candy. Tomorrow. Tomorrow would be the day I capture that classic image. Today we would arrive at Machu Picchu too late. Today we hike.
The next morning we were in line for the bus to Machu Picchu by 5:20 a.m. and there was already a line blocks long. But, the que moved pretty fast and we were on the bus by 6:20 a.m. As luck would have it, the day was clear and warm. No classic clouds on the mountain for us today. After a little exploring Machu Picchu on our own, we headed back to the hotel with our passports stamped to memorialize our visit to Machu Picchu. On our way to the hotel, we stopped at a French Bakery and enjoyed coffee and a apple tartin that was DELICIOUS. We walked around the square and explored Aguas Caliente, which is not without its own special charm.
What a trip this was. I think the people of Peru are what stand out as the best part of the visit. But, it is time to head home and plan another adventure for another day. Thanks for “traveling” with me.