Aguas Calientes

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

For some naughty reason the hotels at Aguas Calientes have check out time at 9am. We were looking forward to a sleep in, but it seems that hotels need the rooms for other trekkers arriving early.

So our rest day became a long day walking around the small town of Aguas Calientes. Most guide books say that it is not worth a visit as it is just a tourist place to access Machu Picchu, but after 4 days trekking it was actually quite a nice place to be.

A description of Aguas Calientes could be "The Benidorm of the Andes". It has a trillion restaurants all competing to get clients in. The waiters stand outside and offer cheap set menus and additionally 4 piscos for the price of 1 (or beers). There are karaokes, nightclubs, and an endless amount of shops selling souvenirs.

Veronika bought herself the "I Survived the Inka Trail" t-shirt, while Marcos went to the more serious one of "Cusqueña Beer" t-shirt, at 2 euros each.

We also indulged in the Thermal Baths at Aguas Calientes (reason for the name of the town - Hot Waters). We were not too impressed with them, as although the effect was positive with the hot waters and cold water, the place was infested with flies (thousands) so the comfort factor disappears.

The best thing at the Thermal Baths was the sign (see picture) offering cocktails and drinks to the swimmers. The last part is a classic English - Spanish translation "wave and we con tu you" (wave and we will come to you).

At noon we met up with our South African friends for lunch and extended that over 4 hours (given the 4x1 offers available!). We then all took the Peruvian train back to Ollantaytambo (1.5 hours) and finally the agency bus to Cusco (home sweet home 1.5 hours).

We ended the night at the Irish Pub at Cusco which claims to be the highest Irish pub in the world with all the rest of the group. Pints are sold a 2 euros (expensive for Peru, but cheap for Europeans), and hamburgers are just huge there....
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