Going to Machu Picchu from Cusco was not as simple as I thought it would be. I knew there was a train going there. And I thought it was leaving directly from Cusco. That was the first mistake. But before I even got to realise that, I made the second one: not going to the right place to buy the train ticket. My first choice wasn’t totally wrong but the opening hours didn’t match with the time I got there. So I had to go in search of that other place where they sell them. The place was empty, so I got helped quickly. After the lady adapted my schedule – 4 days in Aguas Calientes, the village from where you start the ascent to Machu Picchu, was waaaay too long as there’s absolutely nothing to do there – she gave me every information I needed to arrive at the place safely.
I have to say that, in going by train, I chose the easy option. The hardest one is to do the Inca trail, which can last between 3 days and a week. I would have loved to do it but you need to make your reservation months and months in advance. The other solution is to walk along the train rails from Ollantaytambo, the village from which the train leaves, to Aguas Calientes – or Pueblo Machu Picchu, as is the official name of the place nowadays. As I had done the Santa Cruz trail in Huaraz only about a week earlier, I felt entitled to be lazy and travel seated and on wheels. Also an opportunity to get acquainted with a bunch of South Korean scientists… to whom I mistakenly spoke the two words of Japanese that I knew to say thank you. If anyone knows how to recognize a South Korean from a Japanese, I am all ears. And don’t tell me they speak different languages. That won’t be of any use in the future either.
After having found a hotel, I went back in the direction of the train station, to a French bakery Dorine had indicated me, where they had delicious pains au chocolat. I hadn’t been missing them particularly, not even not when I was fed up with eggs being served at breakfast, but you just have to mention that there is a possibility to find some and I become obsessed by them. Not only couldn’t I leave Aguas Calientes without having tasted them, I couldn’t even start my stay without making absolutely sure they were as good as Dorine had told me. I had some time to kill, so I sat by the unglazed window, connected to the wi-fi, took my notebook to write a little… and slowly came to realize that I would probably stay stuck there a lot longer than I had planned, as it started to pour . I just hoped that it wouldn’t be that wet on the following day, when I would be making my way up to the archeological site. So I asked the shop keeper:
– Does it usually rain that much?
– Yes it does. It’s the rainy season.
Simple, concise answer. Not much to discuss. I thought that season was over already. Obviously, it wasn’t.