Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 19: 6/23/11...Let's Talk Poo

   Ugh. What was it? Altitude sickness? Nasty pizza eaten by the fist full? Sun poisoning? Dehydration? New Peru Doo-doo Flu? I don't know. Any of those, or any combination, or an Inca curse for disturbing their outpost. I was unwell.
   Regardless, this was a day to recover from the previous one. I did have to move on if I wanted to see Machu Picchu the next day, so sucking it up was called for.

   A bus ride was my first adventure. Driving in Peru is really insane and chaotic. But it's a little fun, too. It's entertaining to see the risks the drivers take - as long as you ignore the fact that your life is at stake. There are a lot of speed bumps in the roads around Cusco, and I was compelled to sit in the very back, where the bumps were way more severe.

    The bus ride ended in Ollantaytambo, which was a quaint touristy town. I really liked it a lot, and sort of wished I had chosen to stay the night there in my original plans. If I go back, then I will. There were a lot of adventure travel types there for rafting and other activities. But the main attraction is the fact that the train leaves from there to Machu Picchu.

    I had lots of time to kill before the train, but I was so ill and tired that I couldn't bring myself to climb into the ruins. I figured I'd have to choose between these ruins, which did look pretty cool, and Machu Picchu. I just didn't have the strength left to do both. So I just relaxed, unless I had to use a bano, which was very frequently.

    Peru is a bad place to have a troubled digestive system. One thing that I feel totally grossed out by here (and sometimes in Argentina, too) is that you're expected to put your poo-ey paper in a trash can instead of flushing it. Ick. Do I really want to open a trash can that quite a few people have deposited their..... No, I do not. Also, you normally have to pay for this privilege. So my difficulties were further complicated by all this.

   After dark it was train time. I searched anxiously for a rest room on the train as it pulled in and prepared to take us on board. Thankfully there was one, and I called dibs on that seat. (Not really, because I don't know Spanish for "dibs".

   The train was uneventful. After we disembarked, I found the guy who was sent to take me to the hotel. He pointed at Machu Picchu, which I didn't see at first. But then I could see a barely visible outline high above me, along with a few light spots. I just said "whoa". I was seriously in awe, even though I had only caught a preview.

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