The PeruRail Vistadome train chugs along the river, snaking this way and that, and we are giddy with excitement.
Privy to the valley greenery and walls of Inca ruins trailing opposite us, we are enclosed in glass, skylights streaming grey skies and spots of bluebird. On our laps, we balance freshly brewed cups of coffee–Café Britt, no less, the provider we fall in love with in Costa Rica and actively import for years to our Colorado home–and mini burgers the size of Schnauzers.
Yippee, ki yay, mini sirloin burgers, whi-pash!
I am giddy, delighted, in disbelief that this childhood dream is only a day away from being realized, Graham and I on track–literally–to hike Machu Picchu in the morning. Right now, we take in every moment as a gulping breaths of memory, committing to our brains the rainforest mountain valley we barrel along as we climb up, up, up to Aguas Calientes, recently renamed Machu Pichu Pueblo, and what bonus that PeruRail meet our expectations–and the amount of dinero we dish out, roughly $70 for this one-way–with totally decent service and surprise snacks.
Graham sips his second Cusqueña in honor of our trajectory from its namesake, Cusco, for we walk in the valley of the shadow of Inca might and brilliance and prestige, the state of Peru clearly happy to be making many a buck of our tourist fantasies, and in fact, looking for a few other marvels to excavate and turn into opportunities to line the government coffers.
We settle in for this final leg of our journey, the private taxi from hotel to bus stop and group taxi from Cusco to Ollantaytambo completed with nary a second to spare, our driver gritting his nails as he drops us off minutes before our 3:37 PM departure, us the lucky recipients of having asked our hotel in Cusco to plan out all details concerning this trip, meaning someone other than me gets to answer the proverbial “why did shit hit the fan?” question.
Chug, chug, chug along, the 90 minute ride rocks us into blissful contentment, totally stoked about tomorrow’s big event.