04 October 2007


The spirit forces of Machu Picchu had revenge on me this morning for using those expired tickets and paying precisely $0 in homage to them. I can't be exactly sure what it was, but I think it was the cheese and avocado sandwiches I made for myself that made me wake up feeling sick. But not too sick.. I decided not to walk the 30 km on the train tracks like the Japanese (not surprisingly) were, even though I really wanted to in order to confirm my Iron Man reputation and so as not to be upstaged by my Japanese peers (the true hardcore travelers of this world). So I thought I'd attempt the train. I made it to the train station by 5:00 am, when it opened, and managed, miraculously and against all previous experience and advice, to secure the absolute last available seat on the 5:45 am cheap backpacker train to the ancient Inca town of Ollantaytambo, halfway back to Cuzco. So, I reasoned, perhaps my karma was in balance after all. I made it to the town, but I felt so wiped out, I dropped my backpack at the first hotel I came to and asked if I could just sleep there for a few hours ($3). I still felt sick, but not too sick.. so I rested uneasily and thought I was recovering from whatever zapped me. Then came the feeling. And there was no time, no time at all, to get to the bathroom. So I grabbed the only plastic bag I had, with the remaining cheese and avocado sandwiches in it, and puked all over them. Surprisingly, because this never happens to me, I actually felt better afterwards and was soon on my way. I can safely say that was the only genuine spite puke of my life. I only spent a few hours staggering around town (the oldest continuously inhabited in South America), trying to be interested despite my fatigue, before spending about $1.50 for the 3 hour bus ride back to Cuzco.

I learned a valuable lesson from this experience: never buy cheese from the woman who is also selling meat.

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