Not only did I have even wetter pants in the morning, I had a wetter pair of pjs, jacket, and swimsuit. Along with the guys´ rained on clothing, my wet attire was once again stuffed into the backpack as we made our way out of Santa Teresa. To add to the misery, Nikhil´s jaw started hurting yesterday. It got so bad that he had to buy anti-inflammatory pills from the local botica, or pharmacy. The pain did not subside today, so he got more drugs as we started our three hour walk to the hydroelectric plant where we would have lunch.
The rain stopped, and nature gave us the other extreme of constant sunlight. I conquered the uphill trek, not with ease, but with the consolation that this was nothing compared to Day 2. Nothing.
Lunch was delicious. Avocadoes stuffed with vegetables, lentils with olives, steamed rice, boiled grain...There wasn´t much spice, but the freshness of the foods was a specialty in itself. From this location, we left our larger backs to be taken to Aguas Calientes (the city) via train. We had the option of taking the train to Aguas Calientes or walking along the train tracks for two hours to get there. I had never walked to a city via its railroad, so I opted for the latter. So did everyone else.
The rocks around the tracks were bumpy and uncomfortable. The metal rail was too skinny. I chose to walk on the wooden planks that perpendicularly intersected the metal rail. It was like a game, finding the next wooden plank to step on. Some were a feet apart or less. Others were more spread out, so I jumped onto the farther ones, being carefully to not slip. Instead of a wet, soppy jacket to shield me from the occasional shower, I had a purple poncho. The two hours passed slowly and in serenity. By the time we reached the city, the hopping from plank to plank had taken its toll. I realized how tired my feet were.
Nikhil´s pain hadn´t subsided. He went to a dentist in Aguas Calientes who diagnosed the problem. An infection had reached the nerve of a tooth in his lower jaw, leading to tooth and chin pain. He received an injection to temporarily relieve the pain and an antibiotic prescription. I am worried about him.