Finally it came time to leave Cusco, with its stiking cloudy skies. We departed for Aguas Calientas via taxicab and train, arriving at the “base” of a mountain upon which sat Machu Picchu.

Goodbye, Cusco. Goodbye

The train station has some nice views, as well as anise tea. Those of us who enjoy licorice (that being mostly myself on this trip) were in heaven. Train_water Train_mntn

We set about exploring town in search of hotel (which was harder to find than it perhaps should have been—traveling down a “Via de Escape” is not a tourist’s favorite ideal), then, upon finding such, made a quick exploration of the surroundings, and ate “Machu Picchu style pizza”, which has all of the meat on it, and a slight peppery taste. Aguas Calientas is home to also a hotspring and stonework by artist Jacob Sulca depicting the stages of relationships (as interpreted by your ‘humble’ blogger).

After meeting, Fam

symbolized by a snake and ram (in a manner which your ‘humble’ blogger doesn’t understand being an outsider),


you have passion, Passion

which leads to children, Pregnancy

eventually one of you passes, Entomb

where you wait until your lover can join you in the hereafter. Ever_After


Our first attempt at finding the Machu Picchu entrance ended in failure twice, as we first paid our ten soles to go to the hotsprings rather than Machu Picchu—did lead to the realization that the fern I’m growing is a toy. Fern

Having mastered that mistake, we made another, as one must purchase tickets at the Pueblo before hiking up. That gave us a day of potential boredom, so we picked up and walked the tracks in hopes of finding a Botanical Garden. (To our credit, the sign said to do so, and it /was/ the right way to get there). active working

We did eventually reach the botanical gardens, Los Jardines de Mandor, which contains a beautiful, erm, botanical garden. signpost Mi Padre

The path contains some of my favorite plants in not-quite-ready-for-boiling-water form. Coffee Tea

There were also several signs showing us the proper way to enjoy the area. We must swim, Swim make an offering to the gods of hot soup, soup chill out zazen style, relax and finally stand triumphant. walk

There are a couple places to rest if you get weary on the trip to the falls in the back. Hideaway On a hill

The paths will lead you back through plenty of vegetation to a viewspot for a waterfall. You can follow the footpath, Footpath

follow the water, Waterpath

or, if you’re indecisive, both! Both Bridge

until you reach the falls at the end. Falls

I recommend not falling off the walking path Don't Fall

and taking in the views. A View Misty

If you don’t hate swimming, and don’t mind natural pools, that’s an option there too Where To Swim Pool