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Friday, July 22, 2011

Machu Pichu Prequel

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On our way to Machu Pichu

Early morning view from the front door of our hostal
My brothers twin--from Argentina, I think.  He was traveling with his father.

School girls at Aquas Calientes
 We were picked up at 6:30 AM, driven somewhere other than where planned.  The train we were scheduled to go on was some ¨problem with the rails¨, so a change was fine with me!  We were driven, I believe, to Olantaytambo which means something, I´m sure.  Everything else does.  Our train was upgraded, so that was good,.  Alas, it wasn´t the Hiram Bingham.  But we did have windows in the roof so we could watch the Andes.  Beautiful ride, and we arrived in Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Pichu Pueblo) about 12:30.  Checked into our hotel/Hostal which is owned by the tour company we booked the MP tour with.  Very comfortable.  No heat again, but it is warmer here than in Cuzco, also lower in altitude.  We could have had a free lunch at 2;00, but of course, John did´nt want to wait.

So out we went, and found a lovely little restaurant with a wood fired, clay oven and had a delicious pizza that only took about 10 minutes to cook to perfection.  I watched the oven from where I was, so that was also kinda interesting.  Then we went shopping in the market, (tourist market, no dead things) and bought more things we didn´t need,  but things that will endear our families to us forever, I´m sure.

We stood in line for a long time trying to get a map of this small town, as there is a botanical garden somewhere, but by the time we got to the front of the line, we discovered there were no maps.  We asked directions and started walking, knowing it was closing in 1 12 hours- we walked for a while, didn´t come to it and realized we wouldn´t make it in time anyway, so we went back and I TOOK A NAP!  I siesta maybe once or twice a year, so it´s kind of shocking.  Buffet dinner at the hotel/hostel at 7:30, met our guide Xavior and the couple that would be with us, a young boyfriend and girlfriend from Philadelphia.  He was funny, she was skinny, they were probably late 20´s or early 30´s, and he reminded me of someone that drove me nuts the whole time because I couldn't remember who it was.  Finally, next day, I remembered--a young Alan Arkin.  When I finally remembered, he only knew Alan Arkin as the old grandpa in "Little Miss Sunshine".  Oops.

Shower, (hot), bed (comfortable) and a great but short night´s sleep.

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