Peru: Aguas Caliente

Because we have volunteered to take the later train and switch to a bus at Ollantaytambo (while the others take the “dome train” all the way back to Cuzco), we have some time to wander around Aguas Caliente – or Machu Picchu village, as the local officials insist it should be called.
Peru - ExplorationVacation 2005-12-31_14_10_48_0If you read any travel guides for Machu Picchu, you are likely to think that extra time in Aguas Caliente is not a good thing. However, we were out shopping last night and I am fond of this little tourist town.First we bid goodbye to the hotel and our room – the hotel wasn’t much (hot water would have been nice), but the gardens and our view of them were delightful.
Peru - ExplorationVacation 2005-12-30_13_04_24 view out our windowThe village itself is a series of stepped “streets” lined with tourist shops and restaurants. It exudes a cheerful goodwill and the surrounding mountains make the little village seem cozy and welcoming.
Peru - ExplorationVacation 2005-12-31_13_46_14Below the city’s sloping streets, the Urubamba River tumbles and boils. A broad walking path allows us to wander along the river’s bank, providing a close-up view of the ferociously flowing water. It is an amazing stretch of white water.
  Peru - ExplorationVacation 2005-12-31_13_50_48Peru - ExplorationVacation 2005-12-31_13_51_55Peru - ExplorationVacation 2005-12-31_13_56_26Back in the village we settle in at a restaurant across from the hotel, order a round of pisco sours, and await our turn to board the train.

It has been a glorious day.

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