Saben’s disregard for punctuality finally pays off
Day 112: Aguas Calientes, Peru
After a breakfast that can be called no less than utterly insipid, we checked out of the drafty (understatement!) hostel. Passing police in full riot gear and shields ready for some wicked deflecting action, we made our way to the bus station.
Two buses through the stunningly beautiful Sacred Valley, we arrived at the train station in Urubamba only to discover that we had missed the cheap train to the town at the foot of Machu Picchu (thanks to Saben’s half conscious insistence that he sleep ”just 5 more minutes” and then 5 more…and 5 more…). The next one wouldn’t depart til about 5 hours later and we couldn’t afford the expensive train that left in only an hour. But lucky for us– special deal, one day only!– we could take the fancy train at a nice discount, $42 instead of the normal $60. It was still $12 more than the usual backpacker’s train ticket but we decided to take the hit and were nicely rewarded when we boarded the train.
Swanky! Sleek wooden side panels, windows running the length of the ceiling, big comfortable seats, a complimentary snack service that proved to be more of a lunch than a snack, and incredibly hospitable service where we were treated delicately as the typical well to do passenger of this fine train! Even better was the fact that there were only 4 other passengers and we were offered an extra snack service when we made friends with the stewardess. One shining spot of luxury in our usually, er, less than luxurious lives!
In the tiny town of Aguas Calientes (closest town to Machu Picchu) we spent an hour trying to find a decent place to stay and ended up with a private room ensuite for $5. Not the greatest place and sure, the downstairs did smell like a 30 year old cat box, but the room was clean. Passed a lazy evening wandering around the town and through the market that sells the same item in all 600 stalls. Capped the night off with dinner at a really good Mexican place with a free pisco sour for us both!