WASHINGTON, DC, December 8, 2012 - Travelers bring their own talents to this game of traveling, learning to exploit them during the journey, but their weaknesses are also exploited; this is where they learn the most about themselves, only to find memories become their possessions, as they age.
Their room had no hot water, but it did have a towel, and, of course, a toilet seat and toilet paper. It also overlooked the plaza. The constant dripping of the faucet did not bother Doug, or him, through the evening. The wooden floor, in the cool room, seemed to split open like dry hands in winter, and cracked like fingers popping at the joints, as they walked around. Chipped paint hardly stuck to the walls, and the beds had dimples from the previous bodies that slept there through the years. This is the charm, the very experiences travelers remember, and later, look back, smiling.
That morning, leaving the hotel, several men immediately approached them. “Friends, you need a ride to the station. Come,” one of the men said, waiting outside their hotel. Touts say they want to help. Speaking another language simply means some people can be more annoying in several more tones. The man’s skin, weathered, scratched, tanned, and peeled, looked like that paint chipping off the hotel room they just left. That alone was enough to see his seedy way of trying to get Doug and him in his car. As the two walked away, the man gave one last desperate call, and stated, “You will get lost if you do not come with me.”
The countless forms of transportation take travelers to the edges of the country. In some transportation the feeling of being safe is right next to the traveler, along the next step, and a blink away, is being completely lost. They were in no hurry to find the train station: their next form of transportation.
“That is the idea, the more lost you are, the better the experience,” he told the man in Spanish, then looked at Doug, waving him to walk away.
Doug asked, “How do you know where we are going?”
It did take a few hours though, to find the train station. There are always several stops along the way, to finding where travelers need to go. They did not know they had to take a mini van to another city, and then find the train station. In the mini van, they stopped to buy tickets for the train and entrance fee to the national park. “We are closed today,” a lady said through the door, and continued, “We cannot sell tickets on the weekends.” It is worthless to ask questions, why did you even answer the door? Is this a home or business? Where do people buy the tickets then? They were not going to get those answers. It was the weekend. He and Doug had to sit in the packed mini van, as their bags sat on top, in the rain. The worst part of a cramped mini van, they both discovered, is when one of your legs falls asleep. The pins and needles sharply stabbing their numb legs seem to die off for the last thirty minutes of the ride.
Taking the train, another tasty alternative to travel, and a must to actually arrive at where he and Doug wanted to go. The last portion of their trek had to be done by this classy train, with glass windows on top, so everyone could see the mountains.
The scene is tranquil on the train, shared with travelers and tourists, each snapping photos of the surrounding mountains. Each person shares the exciting energy of visiting some place new with strangers. Ideas roll, the train clatters across the tracks. There was only an hour more to arrive and see it. For he and Doug, the journey began so broad, without really knowing how to arrive, but in the process of just moving, the destination began to take shape. Finally, they stepped off the train and began walking.
After climbing the last part of the trek, from Aguas Calientes to the entrance, mist covered the entry gate.
“I could be a science experiment right now. My body needs a shower and I cannot stop sweating,” he told Doug. They both lifted up their arms to smell themselves as if to agree.
Somewhere, in the middle of nowhere, words seem displaced from meaning, while, the individual traveler realizes the powerful impression it is to finally be in an area of the world, only thought about before. Now, the memory is held tight, as the mere visit to Machu Picchu, excites anyone, but the journey there, becomes the truest of destinations. Traveling truly does teach, teaching a traveler something to forever remember.
Traveling does not give ideas, but rather, the silent deep reflections of days past, makes one feel the need to explain such wonderment.
“Global Henry” (Traveler to over 120 plus countries)
Author: No More Heroes
 Scam artists who solicit business, while pretending to help, working for a local establishment.
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