We started in a wide vvalley of agriculture with maize, and small herds of cattle personally tended by families. By small herds, I mean maybe 8 to 10 cattle. A few pigs along the way, and lots of dogs running wild.
As we continued down hill, the valley walls steepened and narrowed and we were adjacent to the ever growing river and rapids became the typical not exception. Along the way we saw the occassional hiker or native in that beautiful colorful garb, carrying a sack of some sort. There were no high end houses, and all appeared to be very basic living with primarily wood for heat.
By the time we reached Ollaytambo we were in a cavernous valley with almost vertical cliffs all around of at least 1000 maybe 1500 feet. The mist in the mountains was eerily beautiful and tranquil. We were heading into a diferent world.
Upon arrival in Aquas Calientes we made our way through the typical market at the train station and found our way to Gringo Bills. I had signed up for a private room with shared bath and was pleased to find private facilities for our room. The room was not large, but clean and well decorated. We were asked not to use one of the end table lamps as it does have a short. The fare was $60 pèr night, and very acceptable.
After nappie we headed out for a poncho and lunch. The rain has been constant and the terrain in town is hilly and surrounded by huge peaks of vibrant green foliage. Pizza, two diet cokes and a bowl of chicken soup was 82 sols or about $28 US. Again, everybody has been extremely friendly and cordial. The smiles are large and real.
We have no photos today as the hotel does not have a connection. This internet site charges 4 sols per hour or $1.33. We took photos, and will provide them tomorrow or next day.
So it is exploring the town today, which won´t take long. The architecture is very simple and never over two stories. I don´t see any evidence of code enforcement and believe a strong wind may take some of these places down. The roofs are corregated metal.
We are having a great time regardless of the weather. Nappie only lasted til 2 PM and we seem to be adjusting to the altitude.
Tomorrow is the big day- The buses start at 5 AM every 10 minutes until 7 AM then every half hour thereafter. The admission and bus was $60 US each and I can´t wait to see Machu Pichu. It was an adventure just getting here.
Thanks for coming along to the land of misty mountain tòps.