Monday, 25 August 2014


On Tuesday we decided to skip the all day bus tour and after breakfast we took a hike to find the bus depot for tomorrow.  In the past when travelling from Cusco to Machu Picchu, travelers would simply board the train for the four hour ride. During the rainy season from November to May there were often problems with mudslides, landslides and rockslides so now travelers during the rainy season take a two hour bus ride to a station just beyond Ollantaytambo and then a two hour train ride the rest of the way to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. 

After a quick breakfast we headed down the hill, past Q'orikancha, looking for the bus depot.  We wandered around and around several blocks, stopped in to hotel lobbies to ask for directions, and ended up at a local market.  I had seen these vendors in Lima as well:  there is a bunch of hard-boiled eggs in what looks like an aquarium - a small glass container.  On the side of the glass container is a bowl for holding the egg shells and below is a group of quail who are laying the eggs for the vendor to cook and sell.  Customers purchase the eggs and the vendor peels them, puts the egg shells in a bowl and then puts the peeled eggs in a plastic bag, sprinkles them with salt and gives the bag to the customer.  The other street food that was very popular was a boiled/steamed cob of Inca corn which is much larger than our sweet corn at home.  These are also sold in a plastic bag which customers use to hold the corn as they eat it.  I did not try either of these local treats.

Quail egg vendor

As we waited out a quick rain shower at the local market, John used the data on his phone to once again search for the bus station.  We saw lots of other interesting things in the city, but no bus station.  By now I was feeling tired and dizzy.  I suggested to John that it was time to go back to the hotel, and that we needed to grab a cab rather than walk.

Some of the sites from our strolls around Cusco:

I like the juxtaposition of the traditional dress and modern dress.  We saw women everywhere in Peru, including the airport, wearing the flat-brimmed beige hat, braids, brown pleated skirt and flat shoes, and carrying colourful bags slung over their shoulders carrying all sorts of things including their children! 

Just down the street from our hotel

Turns out this fountain is very close to the bus depot.
We walked around this plaza countless times; we knew we were close!

When we got back to the hotel, I laid down and was sure I would feel better once I had a quick rest.  WRONG! By 2 pm I was sick.  Really, really sick.  I won't go into graphic detail but I was vomiting and had diarrhea nonstop all afternoon and into the evening.  John relaxed just outside the hotel door on the patio, reading his book and playing games on his computer, and came in periodically to make sure I was still alive.  As the day progressed and my condition showed no signs of improving he somehow managed to find a pharmacist who spoke English and got me antibiotics, a Spanish version of Gatorade to restore my electrolytes and a canister of oxygen just like the Japanese tourist had at Sacsaywaman.

As  afternoon faded into evening I was still spending most of my time in the bathroom and I began to have serious doubts about my ability to embark on a two hour bus ride followed by a two hour train ride in the morning.  Our bus left at 7 am and we had strict instructions to be at the bus depot no later than 6:30 am.  We had made arrangements ahead of time to check out in the morning, leave our suitcases at the hotel and then check back in on Thursday evening.  We just planning to use our backpacks as overnight bags for the trip to Aguas Caliente.  The staff at the front desk assured us that the taxi driver would take us to the mysterious bus depot in the morning.  But I couldn't imagine leaving the bed, except to go to the bathroom, let alone leaving the room.

I was sure that I was going to miss out on our trip to Machu Picchu, which was the whole point of this trip and I suggested John go ahead without me, but he argued that he would rather stay with me and  not leave me behind.  I figured at least one of us would get to see it; he figured it would still be there and we could see it together another time.  I was too weak to argue, which is unusual for me!  I woke at 3 am, still sick and even more convinced that we were going to be spending another day in Cusco.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for posting on my blog!