We woke up at like 5am again. Per usual. This is when the sun has been coming up. Rob took a cold shower. I decided to wait until our next accommodations as we had to walk there. We packed up our things and made our way to the common area for breakfast. We had the usual: coffee, juice, bread, and today we got banana pancakes again! After we ate, we chilled for a bit in the patio area while our hosts tallied up our bill and the girls paid what we owed. It was a bittersweet moment, as the dogs and family were clearly a bit sad to see us go, and we loved our stay, but we were also excited to go on to our next stop. A taxi was called which would bring us to Hidroelectrica. Hidroelectrica is less a town, and more of a landmark of sorts? It's a train station near a hydroelectric power plant on the Urubamba River. There's some tiendas, and maybe some houses, but there's not really even a road. Hydroelectrica is the point at the end of a single lane dirt road, whatever you might call that. But everyone in the area knows where it is.
The taxi arrived around 9:30 am and drove us about 20 minutes along the dirt road to the train station. The road ends here, and you can either walk 11km or take the train to get to Aguas Calientes, where the next road exists. The train is mainly reserved for local commuting, so we can’t buy tickets. We began our 7km hike at 9:52 am. We followed the train tracks and the river the whole way to Gea Lodge and Jardines de Mandor, about 2/3 of the way to Aguas Calientes. Basically in the middle of nowhere, accessible only by foot. We arrived at about 11:40 am. We were carrying all our stuff on our backs so it took a little longer than some. We were too early to check in, but not too early to get lunch. So, we ordered the menu de casa, which for today was quinoa soup, lemonade, and chicken, rice, and vegetables. Jenny and I added the pico de gallo to our meals to give it a little extra kick. It was all really good, and we were starving from the hike, so it went down quickly. After lunch we were able to check into our room. Originally we were supposed to be in room 2, but after lunch we were told that we had to be upgraded to room 11. Apparently the owner had to get a copy of the key for room 2 made, so she had taken the only key with her into Cusco. Imagine having to go to a city about 5 hours away to have a key made?! Oh and also you don't have a car because there are no roads, and you have to hike a couple miles to where you can hail a taxi, or wait for whenever the next train might be.
We dropped our things off in room 11. There was one full bed and two twin beds. Shaun and Jenny like their own beds and Rob and I like to share, so it worked out well. Our new room was within the botanical gardens, Jardines de Mandor. Rob and Shaun changed into their swimming gear and we set off towards the waterfalls. The path was beautiful with labels on the different plants and trees to identify the species. The hike was fairly long. It took us about 40 minutes to reach the waterfall. Rob and Shaun opted to go swimming here while Jenny and I just enjoyed the cool breeze. After the walk, we went back to the restaurant at the reception area. I got a cold bottle of water, which is a rarity around here. Usually the bottle water is room temperature. Shaun, Jenny, and Rob all got café frio which basically tasted like a coffee milkshake. We informed them that we would be dining in for dinner. The menu of the day was soup and grilled chicken. It would be served at 7. We all wanted to relax at this point so we headed back to the room and watched Black Hawk Down. I had downloaded this on the tablet just in case we had down time and nothing to do.
Towards the end of the movie, I started to feel nauseous. The room was hot as we were all piled together for the movie. I wasn’t sure if that was the cause or if I was just hungry, or something else. We made our way over to dinner. The soup was served. I took a few bites, but it didn’t seem to help my stomach. When the main dish came out, of grilled chicken, rice, and vegetables I tried to eat this as well. I couldn’t tolerate more than a couple bites. This is when it hit me. I used the restroom at the restaurant and had diarrhea. I thought maybe I felt better after that, so I went back to the table to see if Muna tea helped. Shortly, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to tolerate anything and headed back to the room. As soon as I made it to the bathroom I started vomiting. I felt better after. Jenny came back to the room also and stated that she also felt nauseous but she thought she was just overtired. I jumped in the shower and that helped. In the meantime, Jenny had also started vomiting. We are supposed to go to Machu Picchu tomorrow! We both called it a night, trying to get as much sleep as possible. Unfortunately, the universe had other plans for us…Shaun and I finished the rest of our meals and paid our bill. We weren't excited to head back to the room.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.