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Trails & Techno_Text_December 26

Trails & Techno_Text_December 26

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Published by Patrick Archer
Trails and Techno: A South American Odyssey is the tale of two young Americans dodging Corporate America long enough for a 30-day, 120-beats-per-minute journey through Argentina, Chile, Boliva and Peru.

http://trailsandtechno.com
Trails and Techno: A South American Odyssey is the tale of two young Americans dodging Corporate America long enough for a 30-day, 120-beats-per-minute journey through Argentina, Chile, Boliva and Peru.

http://trailsandtechno.com

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Published by: Patrick Archer on Jan 18, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/10/2014

 
164
The first bus back up the hill to Machu Picchu departed at 6:30.The park entrance would not open until 7:30, so we decided to catchthe 7:00 shuttle. After paying the bill at the hostel, we went door-to-door looking for cheap sandwiches for lunch, knowing full well that wecould not afford lunch atop Machu Picchu. The café adjacent to theentrance to the ruins brings new meaning to the word “monopoly.” Even worse is the second-rate state-run
Hotel del Turismo
which charges a mere$162 per night in the off season. Andy found what he considered to bea reputable sandwich maker, while Dirk and I scrounged around for cheapham and cheese sandwiches and a bunch of fresh bananas from a railsidefruit market. With food in one hand and
mochilas 
in the other, we hopped on the7:00 bus and arrived at the main gate just in time for the official park opening. The morning view of the ruins was obscured by dense fog, butthe absence of rain was a welcome changefrom the day before. Anotherbonus was the three plus hours that we would have the run o’ the ruins all toourselves. The Cusco train would notarrive until well after 10:00. At 8:30, wetrekked east of the main ruins passingthrough the
Intipunku
, the
Gateway of the Sun
, and along the Inca Trailtoward the site of Huinay Huayna. The two-hour trek was shaded andvery steep in some areas but provided an excellent morning workout. At one point late in thetrek, we were cruising along with littlechange in the trail scenery when, all of asudden, we rounded a corner and there wasHuinay Huayna, a most impressive one-hundred eighty degree series of over thirty agricultural terraces built into the face of the hillside. The best part about it was that we were the only three people
l
 jueves26 de diciembreMachu Picchu a Cusco, Perú
xx
D L M M J D L M M J D L M M J D L M M J D L M M J V V V V V  
1 2 3 4 5 6
 
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 
Destino:CuscoModo:Tren, ómnibus y PiesDistancia:215 kilometros
 
x
 
Te extra
ñ
o:I miss you.Stronger statements ofaffection include
Te amo (love)
and
Te quiero (want)
.25 DIC:abbreviation for
25 de diciembre 
.carcel: jail, the state pen, thebig house, etc.
165
there. The silence and solitude gave us a sense of the separation andisolation that the Incas must have enjoyed here beyond the reach of enemy tribes. We walked around the site for approximately forty-five minutesbefore making the turn back to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Around 12:30, we were back at Inca Central. After passing againthrough the
Intipunku
, we branched out in different directions: Andy scampering to find a tour group to join and Dirk and I clambering upthe steep face of Huayna Picchu, the towering peak which offers anunobstructed view of Machu Picchu to willing climbers. After a longand sinewy ascent, we reached the top and basked in the sun taking in theview of the Lost City of the Incas spread out below us. Dirk wrote the words “
Te Extraño
” in the dirt with his boot, and we took a few pictures
from our majestic perch to sendback to family and friends whomight have forgotten us. At 3:15, we met back at the Machu Picchu terrace caf 
é
for a 
Limón
Gatorade 
and jumped on the next bus down the hill
.
By 16:00, we wereback on the train heading east for the return trip to Cusco. The enginepulled out of 
 Aguas Calientes 
on schedule and Andy, Dirk and I foundthree seats in the back of the last car. Andy and I were both nervous.Minutes earlier, we snuck onto the trainusing the same boarding passes from theday before. Both tickets were stamped“25 DIC” and, as such, were no longervalid for travel. The night before, Andy had purchased a red ball point pen at oneof the
kioskos 
, and we had really put ourpenmanship skills to the test by making the “5”in “25” look like a “6.” Fortunately, we were nottrying to go back on the 27
th
, as there was no liquidpaper in our
First Aid N’ Forgery Funkit 
.The moment of truth finally arrived. The conductor passed throughthe car about twenty minutes into the trip and we were both sweating upa storm. To calm his newfound traveling companions, Dirk chimed in,
 
“What’s the worst they can do...“What’s the worst they can do...“What’s the worst they can do...“What’s the worst they can do...“What’s the worst they can do...throw you in a Peruvian jailthrow you in a Peruvian jailthrow you in a Peruvian jailthrow you in a Peruvian jailthrow you in a Peruvian jail
?????
“What’s the worst that they can do to you? Throw you in a Peruvian jailfor fraud?” While Dirk has no future writing
Hallmark 
cards, he didbreak the ice, and Andy and I stuck to our guns. As luck would have it, the conductor reached our aisle just as thetrain ducked into a tunnel. When we emerged, the conductor, his rodsand cones still adjusting, reached for our tickets and tore the stubs, barely noticing the doctored dates. We were all relieved that we would bespending our last night in Perú in a Cusco hostel instead of the stateslammerI was famished after six hours of hiking in Machu Picchu so I wouldeat whenever a good opportunity presented itself. Fortunately, the train would make a half dozen stops on the trip home. Five minutes in, a trainvendor sold me a
Coke 
and a
Snickers 
. Later, when the train pulled into the station atOllantaytambo, I bought a delicious ear of 
choclo
offered to me through the window from a
señora
for one
sol 
. The
choclo
 was aperfect complement to the
Inka Kola
thatI was drinking, just as a dry 
NavarroCorreas 
is the perfect accompaniment tothe
bife de lomo
.Dirk slept part of the way back, while Andy was kept on edge by our friend the conductor who decided to sit in the seat facing him for thetrip back to Cusco. I got a nice
susto
myself on the journey eastward when the train came to a complete stop in the middle of a field. Few people noticed though, as everyone else on the car was asleep. Midway to Cusco, the track ends and the train has to stop and back up on aparallel siding for a mile before reaching the final stretch of track toCusco and continuing forward.We were moving backwards at approximately fifteen miles per hour.The track is laid out here in a “z” pattern, and we were backing up in the
166
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