Traveling Back from Machu Picchu and Final Hours in Cusco

One last quick post before getting to the behemoth that will be our stop at Lake Titicaca…

We arose in Aguas Calientes before dawn to catch our train back to Ollantaytambo, on which I took a couple more photos, but this time through an open door or window (to slightly better results).

We, like everyone else, got bombarded upon our arrival to Ollanta by taxistas offering us what we noticed to be better prices back to Cusco than what we’d paid in advance for a spot on a minibus. Still, we had paid for a spot on a minibus, and so dismissed all the drivers that approached us. Finally, one lingered around long enough to ask us more information about this supposed minibus. We told him, and he assured us that that bus only came around in the afternoon.

After a series of phonecalls to the agency back in Cusco, it was determined that the lady who booked our trip on New Year’s Day had in fact erred, so the agency would just pay the taxi to drive us the hour-and-a-half back to Cusco. We made mention of the fact that we’d paid the agency more than what the taxi would cost (and had now been inconvenienced), but those appeared to be moot points.

“At least we get this whole taxi to ourselves instead of being crammed in that minibus!” we thought, until the driver stopped in the square on our way out of town and picked up another couple (who looked none too pleased that they’d be split up between the front and back seats, as Marlon and I were occupying two of the back seats already). The girl sat next to me, but didn’t seem too interested in conversing or otherwise interacting, so a good portion of my ride was spent trying not to lean into her as we made our way through the windy mountain roads.

When we finally arrived we still had just about a whole day to spend in Cusco (where we’d left the bulk of our stuff up at Jay Jay’s) before catching a sleeper bus to the Lake. We finally got breakfast at Jack’s Café (the line had been insane when we tried going on New Year’s Day. But also it was so good! Go to Jack’s if you go to Cusco, even if the line is really long!), went up to Jay Jay’s to change, then did a victory lap of the Plaza area to take care of some last minute shopping. When we tired of that, we hit up Qucharitas one more time (indulged in some quinoa ice cream! That… was very much like normal vanilla ice cream haha), then, realizing the ‘Skins game was on, popped into Faces of Cusco where they were having a proper NFL Gameday, complete with a fridge full of Peruvian craft beer. Not a bad way to pass the last of our time.

Then we had to pack up and ship out to Puno on said sleeper bus. More on that later. (Spoiler: we did not get much sleep on the bus…)

24 cusco gif