The van dropped us off at some train track-side restaurant where we stopped to have some lunch and watch some football.
Onward we continued, by foot. Next to the river meandering through the mountains of Machu Picchu is a train track. And next to that train track, you can walk. That’s exactly what we did. It was kind of jungle-esque scenery already, lots of green all around and the air rather humid already. It was a nice three-hour walk though, and there were even some minor obstacles to overcome. We had to keep an eye on the train all the time, but when it honked the entire valley could hear it, so its “I’m coming” signals were more than enough.
Sometimes at the edge of the mountaintops, you could see small bits and pieces of the Machu Picchu ruins. We wouldn’t be visiting there until the next day, so it was like a teaser or a sneak preview.
The walk brought us to Aguas Calientes, a city popular as a stop for tourists going to Machu Picchu because, well, it’s hella close by. They got hot springs, too! (It was only a couple of days later that I realized Aguas Calientes literally translates to Warm Waters. Duh!) It’s a rather pretty city too, since it has the river going right through it and a lot of beautiful scenery surrounding it.
That night we got placed in the most luxurious place we’d been to so far (and it was included in the tour), and the next morning we got up at half past four. Yes, that fucking early.