When I woke I didn’t feel too good for some reason. I guess someone must have put something in one of my beers (maybe alcohol or so).We left the hotel about an hour later than planned and took a taxi to the place where we could get a transfer to Aguas Calientes. Up to that point a thought we might take a bus again in which I could sleep a bit maybe. Well I was wrong! We stopped at a busy street and before we even left the taxi, 10 people were talking to as at the same time, trying to persuade us to go with them. We went with a woman to one of the vans that were only a few meters away and I realized, that it gonna be different than expected.
We got three seats in a minivan with 12 seats, but 14 people in it. For a ride which takes 4 – 5 hours…during the drive we went some serpentines up to around 4300 and down again to around 1500m. The combination of the many curves and a bit of beer in my body didn’t really support my well-being and luckily Simona had one of these paper bags from the airplane (which I ended up not using).
After 5 hours we arrived in Santa Maria, where we changed to a “normal” taxi that took as to Santa Teresa. “Normal” in this case means, it was a usual car and not a van. It also meant that we sat with 4 people on the back seats and that we picked up 6 children on the way, who sat in the boot for a while because the taxi driver didn’t want to leave them out in the sun. We dropped them a few kilometers later, next to a shady river.
After 1-1.5 hours we changed taxis again in Santa Teresa. Around 30min later we arrived at “Hidroelectrica”, the train station to Aguas Calientes and, who would have guessed it, a water plant.
After a quick feed, we started the last part of our journey…a 2.5hour walk to Aguas Calientes, the “base camp” for climbing Machu Picchu. The train ticket would have cost 17 US$ one way, so we decided beforehand, that we will hike that part. We walked around 7kms along the train tracks on the one side and a river on the other and when it got dark and started raining, we finally arrived our hostel for the next two nights. After buying our tickets for Machu Picchu the next morning and a quick alpaca-steak-dinner, we went to bed and fell asleep instantly, after a 10 hour journey, including 4 different taxis and a 2.5hr walk.