“Ben, there aren’t any hotels here.”
Rule #1 of traveling with friends: When said friend begins to look like he/she is about to kill you as a result of some stupid decision you have made, quickly remind them of something stupid they did earlier. On a side note, constantly nagging about the mistake prior to the moment of greatest necessity greatly weakens the effectiveness of this tactic.
I wasn’t sure if my clever word work had done the trick, for before Matt could react, the train resumed its motion around the bend. Suddenly, magically before us, there was a small little town of happy Peruvians waiting with open arms. The first sign on the first building that we could see indicated that it was a hotel. Matt was pacified enough to give me the benefit of the doubt for at least a few more minutes. Once again I had been spared.
“How much are they a night?”
We followed the little man down the narrow streets of Aguas Calientes as he guided us to our newly acquired room. As I walked, I couldn’t help but laugh at all the punk tourists who stood around in confusion looking at their maps and scratching their heads trying to figure out where the hotel was that they had made reservations for.
The place reminded me of Adventureland in Disneyworld–that segment of the park where you can go on the jungle safari, and where Swiss family Robinson’s tree-house is–but it reminded me of how I looked at Adventureland when I was 10 years old, before I knew that Disneyworld was fake and plastic.
Aguas Calientes is real, and suddenly I knew that taking the gamble and spending a night there had been the best possible decision I could have made.
“Maybe in the high tourist season, in June or July, but not now,” he responded, I was satisfied.We came to our hotel. Our room was a lovely little place with a view of the river. Matt laughed at how nice it was, noting that we couldn’t get an equal room in the states for less than $50 probably.
We finished our tour of the city and made our way back to the buses. I wanted to walk down the mountain back to Aguas Calientes, but Matt talked me out of it. Fortunately, on the return trip, our driver felt no need to play his ABBA tape.