I was up at 0610hrs raring to go. Unfortunately when you are travelling in a group you kind of have to wait for everyone else. Patience is not my middle name. Once breakfast was out of the way and everyone was packed we boarded a bus that was to take us back to Ollantaytambo where we would then board the train headed for Aguas Calientes. No hiking today and I have a bed with my name written all over it waiting for me! Who knew that such simple things could mean so much!?!
The road down to Lares town from the hot springs should've been an indication of what was to come for the next 3 or so hours until we reached Calca. About 5 minutes into the ride we came head on with a bulldozer and we were the ones that had to back up precariously. I spent the entire duration of that little incident with the words "Don't. Look. Down!" playing over & over in my head. Most of the time during this journey I would look out of the window and find myself wondering why I couldn't see any of the roadside but instead a huge drop into the valley below. I sat there wishing I had sat on the other side of the bus... ignorance is bliss and all that. This was surely the Peruvian version of the Road of Death!?! It was interesting that the driver floored it around the hair pin bends and yet whenever we went through a tiny bit of water he would slow right down. Yeah, that really made sense! There were a few bum clenching-stomach churning-white knuckle moments that's for sure. I was glad when we stopped for a quick break in Calca. A "kiss the ground & thank the Lord above" kind of moment. I should've been suspicious from the offset when I saw the driver had a poster of a F1 Ferrari plastered to his windshield!
|Market in Calca|
Aguas Calientes is an exploitive town but a necessary evil for getting to and from Machu Picchu. This is really the only one good reason to stay in this touristy & overpriced town and of course to get a head start on the hordes of daytrippers enroute to the showpiece of Peru. This means getting up even before the crack of dawn to get an early bus up there or hike if you do so desire. Quite frankly I felt I had filled my quota for the foreseeable future when it came to the latter option aside from yomping around Machu Picchu in the morning and so bus is the transportation mode of choice.
And so I have a 0415 hr start in the morning as a result. The things I do in the name of travel.... oh it's such a hard life.