Another beautiful day of trekking throuch Incan paradise. This morning started (albeit a bit slowly) with a cable car crossing across the river. It is a fun start to the day of walking. Shortly into the jaunt, we took a small side hike to a waterfall. There were tons of coffee trees along the path. A few were even ripe enough that we picked them and ate the fruit part around the coffee bean…who knew? At the waterfall, i almost sat on a holy cow huge centepede on the bench - luckily i looked before i sat — couldn~t have missed him!
From the waterfall, we continued our hike towards the hydroelectric plant. Some of the group was struggling a bit. Apparently the “hair of the dog” at 0900 at a roadside stand didn´t help. So, our guides flagged down a ride and a good portion of the group jumped on…leaving Frederico, Victoria, the guides and us. It actually made the walk a nice and peaceful jaunt. The other folks are nice enough…but anyone who claims Americans to be the most obnoxious travellers should have been on our tour…that´s all I will say about that.
Lunch at the hydro plant included cilantro (in the traditional Inca beans) - that´s all I remember - still love cilantro!!! From the plant, we followed the train tracks to Aguas Caliente. It was definitely the worst part of the hiking as you literally had to stop in order to enjoy the views as the tracks didn´t allow eyes to wonder while trudging along. Trains generally gave warning as they came around corners. One, however, wasn´t on top of his game and scared the bejezus out of a few folks in our group who were a bit ahead of us and literally jumped off the tracks as a train surprised us around the corner. It scared the bejezus out of me and we were mid-pack, at least 15-20 yards behind them.
We did see some beautiful scenery and some Incan ruins and the backside of Machu Picchu. Towards the end of the day of hiking, as we looked up, we saw this huge cliff on the back side of a mountain in front of us. Our guide explained that a tiny ridge that we could see near the top was actually on old path used by the Incans. He said that some portions of the path were essentially wide enough for 2 feet and that was it. Amazing to think about.
We rolled into town and the luxury of a hostel with warm water for much needed showers before dinner. The town is extremely touristy. I wouldn´t be surprised if per capita this was the most wealthy city in Peru. Some of the newer looking hotels were pretty nice and definitely some of the highest charging places we have seen.
A relatively early night - getting up at 0430 to climb Machu Picchu. We followed the guides advice and bought some food and water for tomorrow´s last jaunt. Apparently it is pretty pricey up there. Looking forward to the views - hoping for a clear morning (despite that we are in the onset of the rainy season)