Our day started with two interesting adventures. The first was getting our laundry. We had been promised it for 8:00 last night but when we arrived to pick it up it wasn't ready...this was a set back as we literally were wearing the only clothes we had left...and not all of these were clean...the attendant spoke no English, so we negotiated a pick up time for 8:00 this morning (we thought that is where we arrived anyway). So this morning started with several calls to the laundry to ensure they were open and the laundry was ready...but to no avail as no one answered the phone...sigh...Paul and I finally made our way there (another interesting ride in a mototaxi) and to our relief the laundry was waiting for us. We hurried back to the hotel to pack, and discovered that some of our clothes were still wet. This is not usually a problem, but the climate is so damp that it can take several days for the lightest thing to dry out...we foresee several days of clothes hanging from door knobs ahead of us!!!
Once we finally got packed, we donned our backpacks and called for a cab to take us to the bus station.
We were lucky as there was a collectivo about to leave for our destination, Ollyantanbambo where we were to catch the train. This was adventure number two as the driver grabbed our bags threw them on the roof with no tie downs at all and we were hurried into the back of a mini van together with locals who were sitting and perching in various spots in the bus. Thirty minutes later we were at our destination, feeling a bit like sardines...the whole ride costing us the equivalent of $2.50.
We found a lovely cafe, overlooking the main square and there we stayed until it was time to take the train headed to Machu Picchu.
The train ride was incredible. We followed a roaring river down a deep valley to arrive in Machu Picchu where we were met by a member of the staff from our booked accommodations "Gringo Bills". The ride here filled us with awe as we watched the river roar past the train, a continuous and riotous tumble of rapids the entire length of the one and one half hour trip. The was second only to the beautiful mountains soaring upward on both sides of the train. We were amazed at the change in scenery as we left fertile valleys, mostly devoted to agriculture and ended up in an area which is sub tropical, quite warm and with very different trees and other flora and fauna...
An incredible day indeed.