MACHU PICCHU - The Adventure Continues


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South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu
January 18th 2017
Published: July 30th 2017
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MY HOTEL IN AGUAS CALIENTESMY HOTEL IN AGUAS CALIENTESMY HOTEL IN AGUAS CALIENTES

The concierge was so helpful. He really liked his job.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES

Machu Picchu and the Return to Cuzco



On my second day in Aguas Calientes I packed and had breakfast in my hotel, then stored my suitcase behind the hotel desk. I purchased a bus ticket and found myself joining a large loosely knit group of tourists as they streamed through the entry way to the ancient city of Machu Picchu. Without really thinking about it I turned left onto the trail to the Sun Gate. A bit of luck, really, because this is exactly what I had wanted to do the day before. It was very hot, and I was very slow, but I made my way up, up, up to the original entryway to the city. Between gasps I took my first video with voice. It wasn’t half bad.

Along the way I met some amazing young women, Tara, Madison, Emily and Susan from the World Race organization. They had signed on for a year of traveling in South America, doing generous acts of kindness. They were so kind to me, spending time talking with me as I struggled up the path. I finally arrived at the gate and a young teen,
SEXY PIZZA SIGNSEXY PIZZA SIGNSEXY PIZZA SIGN

I get a kick out of unusual signs...this couple looks like comic book super heroes.
Elliot, graciously took photos of two of the girls and me. There was also a lovely young woman from Brazil, accompanying her father. And an interesting historian, Yannis Popadopoulos, who filled me in on some facts about Machu Picchu, who walked most of the way with me on our way out. I lost him and his friend at the gate, but surprisingly his seat on the train was across from mine, so we talked some more.

When I disembarked from the train I began looking for my taxi driver who was supposed to pick me up and drive me back to Cuzco. To be frank, I was a little worried about the return trip as it was dusk and his driving had scared me in the daylight. The street was crowded with tourists and vendors and taxi drivers who accosted me, trying to get me to pay them to take me to the city. I kept insisting that I had a driver. I just couldn’t find him. I bought myself a hot chocolate to warm me up. The temperature dropped dramatically when the sun went down. One young man really seemed worried about me and told me he had
SHOPPING IN CUSCOSHOPPING IN CUSCOSHOPPING IN CUSCO

Still trying to travel light so I just take pictures of things I would like to take home with me. This bull was about two and a half feet tall.
an empty seat in his van, but I kept looking for my ride; I had already paid for it and I was worried about the driver coming and me not being there. Finally the young man came back and said I could ride for free…“please let me give you a ride to your hotel.” It was totally dark by now so I agreed. It wasn’t a van at all, but a small, very comfortable bus and I could rest on the way back. No erratic swerving, the bus driver was safe and professional. When he dropped me off at my hotel, I tipped him twenty dollars. The next morning one of the office girls told me my driver had been picked up by the police. Go figure.

The next two days I rested, shopped, and watched people. I took photographs of doors, walkways, buildings in my neighborhood and dogs. I had another massage. And I ate at a vegan restaurant, Green Point…the best food of my trip. I read my novel on my Kindle, edited dive photos, a never ending process, and shopped. I stopped at a booth in the plaza to look at jewelry and a woman showed
GOLD, GOLD, GOLDGOLD, GOLD, GOLDGOLD, GOLD, GOLD

Interesting shop that makes guilded, carved picture frames. Also too large to carry home.
me a museum quality necklace of ivory and silver. It was very expensive, and frankly a little too pretentious to wear, but Oh, how I wanted it. Talking about it later with Michael, he reminded me I could not buy ivory and take it into the U.S. Of course! But I still lust after its beauty.

Talking with the cab driver on the way to the airport I mentioned I had suffered altitude sickness the whole time I was in Cuzco. I had checked for homeopathic remedies, etc. He recounted a story another tourist had told him. The guy said he was also quite sick for most of his stay. But one evening he forgot to close his window at night. He was just too tired to get up and do that. The next morning he felt fine, and he slept the rest of his nights in Cuzco with the window open. It makes a lot of sense to me. Altitude sickness is from lack of oxygen. The open window keeps fresh air circulating in stuffy upstairs hotel rooms. More oxygen.

At the airport to go to Chile, the agent shipped my bags through the layover. And I
TOURIST RESTAURANTTOURIST RESTAURANTTOURIST RESTAURANT

Where I saw the roasted Guinea Pig.
found a café that served tea, English Breakfast, my favorite no less, and I had a delicious Bolivian empanada called saltena sagra, slightly sweet beef with a fresh lime wedge…delicious. I chatted with an American man and his two teenage sons, and then talked to a Peruvian man from Lima, Lucio, who wanted to Skype me to improve his English. He told me to get in the privileged line because we were old…it was much faster than waiting for our seating group to be called.

Onward, to Chile where I’ll catch a plane to Easter Island. More diving, at last. And no more altitude sickness.


Additional photos below
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ATLANTIS HOSTALATLANTIS HOSTAL
ATLANTIS HOSTAL

This was a nice hotel and the staff were very accommodating.
GREEN POINT VEGAN RESTAURANTGREEN POINT VEGAN RESTAURANT
GREEN POINT VEGAN RESTAURANT

Great food...I went twice. It is located in a little alley near my original hotel
DESSERT - A REAL SHOW STOPPERDESSERT - A REAL SHOW STOPPER
DESSERT - A REAL SHOW STOPPER

Look at the other diners' expressions. This was a rich chocolate cake topped with golden spun sugar, icing rose and syrup drops. As good as it looks.
CUSCO DOGCUSCO DOG
CUSCO DOG

There were quite a few dogs...one wore a little sweat suit with top and matching pants. Adorable.


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