Day 5: Machu Picchu Pueblo, an even better train ride, and Cusco

Holy fucking shitballs we are sore! Getting out of our respective beds this morning was a chore and even the scalding hot shower didn’t help loosen some very tight muscles and fix our sore necks or backs. But we have limited time and by god we will fucking make it worthwhile!

So this morning despite moving slowly we packed up and meandered around Machu Picchu Pueblo and took photos.

I really didn’t think anything could top our Inca Rail train ride to Machu Picchu but I was so wrong. The train ride back was so delightful I can barely contain myself. For example: I danced with the devil in the aisle of a passenger train for a good 5 minutes while people clapped and cheered. I was not drinking or ingesting any substances. The devil silently asked by holding out his hands to me and I obliged and thoroughly enjoyed myself (despite probably looking like an idiot).

Since I am the official photographer and neither Kris nor I were expecting this impromptu, interesting, and unusual turn of events; I currently have no photographic evidence. However, the train was completely full of photographers who all took numerous photographs of my dancing and our Argentinian table mates said they would send me one via email when they next had wifi. Otherwise I will be known to many of our fellow passengers as the fat white woman who danced with the Incan devil on the train to Ollantaytambo–I am perfectly okay with those turn of events.

We were also privy to a fashion show of clothing items made from baby alpaca wool. Of course we received the coca tea service and instead of carrot-y orange cake, this time we got quinoa pizza. There was clapping. There was dancing. There was music and whooping and overall a good time had by all.

The devil and our baby alpaca fashion models–all of whom were conductors as well.

I’m telling you Inca Rail is glorious. Cleanest train stations I’ve been in anywhere. Great customer service and informative and educational announcements in Spanish and English when passing by items of note. Roomy seats, coffee/tea/snack service, and if the view wasn’t beautiful enough with almost 180 degree views around the train, they also have culturally relevant entertainment. It’s glorious. 

Kris and I keep talking about what else we want to do when we come back. And we are absolutely coming back–I need to finish the last 10 minutes to the summit–it’s just a matter of when.

Anyhow, our arrival in Cusco was uneventful and smooth but as I mentioned previously we are sore as fuck and can barely walk without something aching. So we met up with our guide, got a brief tour of downtown Cusco, noted places we should check out tomorrow for our free day and got good Peruvian restaurant recommendations.

Holy crap. Best food ever. Trout carpaccio. Yuka croquettes. Quinoa battered prawns. Also maybe an Inca Mule (basically a moscow mule with Peruvian liqueur. The place was called the Inca Grill and it was in the main square and holy crap it was good food. The service could probably use some work but we are on vacation so no big deal.

Tonight we relax and try to sleep. My cough/cold/allergies/whatever won’t seem to go away and we’ve both been sleeping like crap so need a good night in before another adventure tomorrow!

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