Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
Trip End Oct 14, 2009

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Where I stayed

Flag of Peru  , Sacred Valley,
Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting to Machu Picchu is no easy trip.  You either have to take a train or bus to Aguas Calientes - the town at the bottom of the mountain.  We would have loved to do the Inca Trail but with it being rainy season and being cold at night we decided to skip it.  Instead, we took the fastest route - a bus to the town of Ollantaytambo (a mouth full) and then switched to a train to Aguas Calientes.  This town is something different.  First off there are only 2 major streets.  One of which has maybe 40 to 50 pizzeria's with someone standing outside of every single one wanting to show you their menu.  While looking at one there are 2 or 3 other people standing a few feet away waving their arms in the air to get your attention.  Brian and I think they must share the same kitchen because it's unreal to think that they can all stay in business - none of them had people in them.  I'm sure it's much busier during high season but that just means that we are getting all the attention.  Yikes.  So until we figured out the words for not hungry Brian just started rubbing his stomach and shake his head - international signs.
Even though there are a whopping 2 streets in the town, our hostal wasn't on one of them.  Instead we were staying on the train tracks.  Not joking.  3 feet outside of the door to the hostel was the train tracks which was basically a main drag for people from downtown to their home or hostel.  Children were even playing on the tracks.  Luckily our room was lined with windows looking over the river and a  mountain directly outside of our window and not the tracks.  It was a very very basic hostel but was great because we fell asleep to the sound of the river outside and didn't hear the trains once. 
The name Aguas Calientes means Hot Water so of course we had to visit the natural hot springs.  They were amazing and so relaxing.  There were a good amount of other travelers there , but overall we've been really lucky that things aren't too busy.  After that we decided we had to try the pizza there - after all every restaurant had it.  We got garlic bread, a large pizza and 4 beers for the bargain price of $11.00.  Not to bad. 
Also while we were there we saw children doing a traditional dance outside of a church - we think it was for a wedding party but didn't see the bride or groom so we don't know for sure.  They were dressed from head to toe in their costumes.  Later on we followed some locals into a plaza area where there were hundreds of people watching what must have been class of children performing more dancing.  Very cool to see the people here doing their traditional ceremonies.    
Next - Machu Picchu
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