Friday, February 20, 2009

Machu Picchu 2

Fernando and Raquel and I spent most of the afternoon in the plaza drinking boxed wine out of little plastic cups and visiting about everything. It was great to have the chance to work on my Spanish with native speakers. Also, there are so many differences between Peru and Spain and Argentina, where Raquel is living and Mexico where I learned Spanish that we had a great time just talking about language. I am so so so glad that I speak enough of this language to be able to befriend people who don´t speak English. Most of the people in the hostal just end up talking with each other because they don´t have enough language to talk to other people.

Fernando had to leave to catch his train earlier than we could catch ours so we went out to eat in a great little local restaurant and found a dog with a pet monkey. Apparently the dog had been to the jungle for a few weeks with the owner´s brother and came back with a pet monkey. If you try to take the monkey off the dog, it holds on to the fur so tightly that the dog then tries to bite you to get you to stop. The owner of the restaurant made the monkey some clothes at least. Very fun.

More boxed wine! Here we are on the train to Aguas Calientes which is the town outside of Machu Picchu. It was dark but there was enough ambient light to be able to see the river for most of the ride. They say Ollantaytambo is a great place to go rafting but I would NEVER get into that river. I have never seen a river with that much power. I thought maybe it just seemed bigger because it was night, but the ride back confirmed it. I was just in awe most of the way. Even the mellow parts were moving too fast to be safe. It was amazing. The train got into Aguas Calientes about 10:30 and Fernando was waiting for us in the Plaza. We dropped our bags off at the hostal and went back to the plaza to drink more boxed wine. Shocking, I know. It was raining really hard so we were huddled on a bench under an overhang and it was really great. We went to bed around 1:00 and got up at 4:00 to catch the bus up to Machu Picchu. Fernando walked. He is crazy. It was raining really hard when we got up and we were bummed, but this was the day we were going to do it, so it didn´t really matter if it was raining, we just put on our ponchos and went. It was raining the whole 1/2 bus ride up to the entrance and just as we got out of the bus, the rain stopped which was great.

It was still really super foggy which gave the whole place such a mystical feeling, it was great. The mountains and/or ruins would just pop out of the fog once in a while and it was stunning. Here is one of our first views of the ruins.

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