It started to rain lightly as we made our way out of the ruins.
Then we saw the most amazing thing we'd seen on the whole trip.
It was incredible!
Finally it was time to go. We headed back to the bus line and the adrenaline from the morning's climb seeped out of me. I was oddly tired and felt sick. We got a lot of sun that day, and I blamed the sun for my aching head. My stomach was a mess, too. But we made it down (alive), collected our bags from the hotel, and caught the train to Ollantaytambo. That train ride was the coldest I'd ever been in my life. I turned blue and was shaking. While we waited for our driver to pick us up at the station, David put his arm around me and realized that even though I felt cold, I was burning up! I was definitely sick. The ride back in the van was cold and I was fighting stomach cramps, and I was happy to see our old hotel room in Cuzco. I put on all my clothes (literally every long-sleeved layer I brought) and tried not to throw up.
David was hungry, and thought I should try to eat, too. You can't bring food into Machu Picchu (although we had brought granola bars earlier that day - we packed out, obviously) so he was kind of starving. We ventured out and entered a warm and cozy restaurant nearby. There was a fire roaring and two cute little girls doing homework. I got chicken soup and ate two sips. David, at my urging (I was living vicariously!) ordered the guinea pig! He had no clue how to eat it until the kind proprietor took his plate, quartered the animal and mimed eating with his hands rather than utensils. I tasted some, nausea aside, and it was good - like a gamy rabbit.
The next day was a free day in Cuzco, and luckily my fever broke during the night. I still felt like I had the flu, but I managed to walk around and explore the city (with lots of breaks). We went to the San Pedro market, and I bought souvenirs - salt from the salt mines for family, and a Peruvian nativity retablo as our Christmas ornament (our traveling tradition). The market was extensive: you could buy cooked foods, fresh juice, household goods, dog food, meat and fish, clothing, coffee, chocolate, dried beans, plants, and leather goods.
|Very ill in a very amazing market.|
|Incredibly perfect stone walls|
|The Spanish just plopped their arches right on top of Inca temple walls.|
|The smooth stone terraces are Inca; the rough stone is Spanish|