Yesterday we went to bed early. We did not have dinner because we were full with a very nice lunch in a pretty restaurant (Tawa Chaki).
Our train 81 was boarding at 5:40am so, we woke up at 5 took the takeaway breakfast that the hotel prepared for us, and walked to the station.
I attach at the bottom the Peru Rail time table and prices for 2013. Also the entry to Machu Pichu (and mountain).
The train was $52 usd from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Caliente (first train at 5.40am) and $56 usd from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (last train at 9.30pm).
The entry to Mach Pichu was 142 nuevos soles.
As we did not have a computer and printer we issued the first leg of the trip in Puno. We were unsure for the return. We wanted to walk but we needed more days… Same for the entry to the park. Be advised that the sell a limited amount of tickets, so it might be full for the day you want. You better buy it in advance! Same with the train.
I attach copies of everything at the bottom.
Anyway, we took the first train and damed it was raining like hell. Apparently is not uncommon. We did not mind though as we had our Gore-tex jacket and boots and dry-bag for carrying everything. Ah by the way, only one small 5kg bag per person is allowed in the train.
The trip to Aguas Calientes is nice. Going down (yes… down) following the river. The train had windows on the roof so you could see… the rain…
They serve you a free coffee and snack.
Once in Aguas Calientes, that has nothing to do with Ollantaytambo… The former is quiet, beautiful, calm… while Aguas Calientes is a boiling spot of tourists, and of course services for tourists… and more expensive than elsewhere.
You understand when you see the amount of US people with organised trips to Machu Pichu…
When you arrive you have to cross the market, where you find the same stuff than in the rest of the country. For tourists. Then we crossed the river and by the river there is a line of buses that go up to the Machu Pichu ruins.
Again, expensive $18.50… but it was raining and the trek is not nice… just a road… we rather walk the Inca trail to the Puerta del Sol.
When we reached the ruins… wow… the rain and clouds made it magical. Really magical. Beautiful and mystic.
We spent all day walking around the ruins and the Inca trail until the Puerta del Sol. The Inca trail is one of these trails that has to be booked in advance with a guide … but if you walk on the opposite direction, like we did, it is free unless, sure there is someone checking …
Around 5pm we went down to Aguas Caliente with the bus. It stopped raining at around 11am. We walked around the village and had dinner at the Indio Feliz (recommended by Lonely Planet). Huge portions, incredible decoration. Highly recommended!!
After that, just walk around until 9.30 pm when we took the train to Ollantaytambo where we spend the night at the Apu Lodge again.
Many people decide to sleep in Cusco, but damed is a long way. If I would go again I would do it the same way. Maybe sleeping in Aguas Caliente, but is too touristic.
Follow this trip at: http://tokao.com/trip/peru/