This time we made it on to the train (a really cute train with only one wagon). However, about half way from Olllantaytambo to Machu Picchu the the train suddenly stopped due to another landslide ahead.
We had to wait a long time, so we killed the time by exploring the area around the train and the tracks, while gawking at the beautiful mountain cliffs towering over us, playing with a mule, and watching the occasional group of treckers pass by on the Inca Trail. I could think of worse places to be stuck for a couple of hours!
Unfortunately the landslide turned out to be really big – one person said the pile of rocks on the track was 10 meters long and 4 meters high! So the train finally turned around and went back to Ollantaytambo.
Although we are disappointed that we didn’t make it to Machu Picchu, we are happy that the landslide didn’t crush the train! And happy that we could get back to the hotel and weren’t stuck on the other side of the rocks. One of the locals told me that a previous year a bunch of people got stranded at Machu Picchu for several days due to a landslide, and those who were too old or young to hike out finally had to be airlifted.
Anyway, we’re back at our hotel room now. After some deliberation we’ve decided to make one last attempt at getting to Machu Picchu, the day after tomorrow. Hopefully Peru Rail will have cleared the tracks by then. And no more landslides please!