We all woke up around 6:15 am. We showered and packed up our stuff before heading over the tracks for a coffee at the restaurant on site. We checked out of the room and strapped on our packs to begin the hike back to Aguas Calientes. This hike was harder than yesterday’s as we were all sore, exhausted, and now carrying all our belongings on our backs. At least we only had 4km to go. Our plan was to get some breakfast and then board a train at 10:30 am which would take us to Ollantaytambo. We sat down across the street from Hot Springs 2, where Shaun and I ate the previous day, at Hot Springs 1 restaurant. We ordered a breakfast pizza and searched for the train tickets. No luck. So Mandy and Jenny walked to the train station to get the tickets printed with our confirmation e-mail. When they returned, they told us that the overnight rain had caused a landslide and the train would be delayed as they had to clear the tracks. The pizza arrived and Shaun and I shared it. The girls were still not ready for any heavy foods. The pizza was really good, it had chorizo and egg and cheese and a nice thin crust. After we cashed out, we didn’t hustle, but we still got to the train station as soon as we could, to check for updates. On the way, we stopped at a bakery where the girls each got a banana danish. At 10:30 am there was no train update, but around 11:00 we were told it should be about an hour late. At noon, the estimate was that we could begin boarding at 1:00. We found seats in the train station to set our bags down and ensure we didn’t miss any updates over the intercom. At 1:10, Jenny asked if the train would be leaving soon, the woman replied “No.” Then, “I don’t know, maybe two, or one, or one-thirty.” We waited more. Finally we were told that the train would depart at “2:30 confirmed.” We started boarding at 2:30 and the train departed at 2:35. Finally!
The ride was very scenic, although we were underwhelmed by the ceiling windows. A neat idea, though mostly useless. We arrived in Ollantaytambo around 4:20 pm. We found a taxi immediately and got on the road. We took an entirely different route back towards Cusco than we had taken a few days prior. It might have been a little bit shorter. There were definitely far fewer switchbacks, which was good for curbing motion sickness! The ride took almost two hours. We passed a lot of landslides, one of them forced us to ride along the shoulder as it was still being cleaned up. Our taxi took us directly to our hostel. By the time we arrived, I was feeling a little bit queasy. I think it was motion sickness.
We unpacked and got settled into our rooms, then set out in search of dinner. We first hiked uphill a short distance to get a view of the city at night. We knew we’d have to hike downhill to get to dinner and then we’d have to go back up to get home, which we weren’t looking forward to. The hills everywhere were so steep! Luckily for us, there were restaurants all over the place, so we didn’t have to go too far to find Sumaqcha Restaurate & Bar. We were trying to find aji de gallina that Shaun really wanted. I ordered the soup of the day and a fried rice dish. I ordered papas de rellenas. The soup was way bigger than I was anticipating, and I ended up not eating any of the rice. I had to step outside because I was feeling really ill. Mandy joined me shortly thereafter and we decided to walk home. I got to eat a little bit of my meal before leaving and it was pretty good. I was sick in the streets along the way. I felt better immediately, which was nice. But short lived. I was sick most of the night, but I did get to sleep some. I was trying to figure out if it was altitude sickness or food poisoning. Or both? It was so disappointing because the food was so good before I lost it all.
"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.