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Published: September 8th 2005
It was like the ice-creams in Dumbos, it was as good, if not better than we expected! And for the first time ever i was actually speachless!!
We caught a train to Aguas Callientes (litterally meaning hot water thanks to the natural hot springs found there) At 6am from Cusco and arrived at around 3ish. The train ride was surprisingly nice, well the parts we were awake for were, the scenery was beautiful although i did spot a magot infested dog carcas on the side of the tracks!
Aguas Callientes was just as beautiful with imposing mountain ranges surrounding the town and jungle encrouching on it. We went in search of somewhere to stay for the night and looked around and came across the most popular haunt, Gringo Bills, but us unsuspecting gringos quickly headed straight back out the door when we found out it was $40 a night! Pah what kind of fool would stay there?!...especially seeing as it is next door to a lovely little place, clean rooms, ensuite, and COMFY BEDS!! (yes we were as shocked as you are!) for soles 40 a night! So needless to say we stayed there and not in Gringo Bills, Bill
dosnt even live there!
So after a feast (basically all you can do there is eat and shop, not that we´re complaining!) we shopped and had an early night to prepare us for the day ahead...
4am...thats right 4am the alarm went off, and we got up!! Still dark we fumbled our way out of the town and onto the trail for Machu Picchu by torch light. And what a trail it was!
I attempted to count the steps but it was such a tough trail that i could hardly walk up them let alone think about anything else, i must admitt i was tempted to flag down a bus (yes a nice easy bus goes there but no we walked!) but we stuck to the trail, and although we were overtaken by hords of tourists (the majority in THE NORTH FACE underpants grr) we stil lmade it there by 7am!! YAY
We got there, (were charged to use the loos, although not everyone did, we did find person poop along the trail!! EEWWW) and paid our entrance fees, half price for students, and THEY DONT TAKE DOLLARS, despite what your guide book says! its around s/40
for students and s/80 for non students, although you must have your ISIC card to get discount.
But boy is it worth it, you walk along a path and are greeted with the most spectacular view you could ever imagine, and i think the early morning fog makes it that little bit more magical. We took the long route and waited around the top by the watchmans hut for the fog to clear so we could get the ´post card´ shot. As you can see from our pictures it was worth the wait.
I wont say too much about the runis, i dont think words could do them justice, I´m sure that you can tell from the photos that it was a truley spectacular expericance, definatly should be on everyones ´to do before i die list!´.
Some tourist tips...
We booked in La Paz only 4 days in advance for the backpacker train, but we paid more than we should have. There are trains for $38 and a later train for $20, which we didnt know, and talking to other people who did the trip you can make it cheaper by getting a bus to a station
no one thought to look for him here!
Sadam in puno, osama in machu picchu, who next...hitler?
just down the road and getting the train to AC from there, OR you can get the train from cusco and stop before AC and bus it there.
Although we think the train ride is so nice and beautiful if you are not on the tightest of budgets its worth getting the $20 train, the last leg into cusco if arriving in the evening as we did gives some great views of the plaza and city all alight.
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