The woman from the hostel was very friendly, she even helped Ana and Jim call the taxi and bargained the price for them. The taxi took them to the main old square, Plaza de Armas, from where the streets lead in different directions. They walked the streets, visited plazas, and tried some amazing Peruvian food. Their plan was to learn more about all of the sights available in the city and close to the city: in the Sacred valley of Incas. The first evening, they already had an idea about what to do around Cusco, and made a plan for the next few days – they knew that they want to visit the sights close to the city to learn more about the rich history of South America, then travel towards Machu Picchu and visit that aincient city – and then through the Sacred valley, to travel back towards Cusco. They informed Diego about their plan over the smartphone, and Diego promptly replied to them, saying “Perfect! I’ll be there”.
In the evening, they visited a vegetarian restaurant with many local guests. At one table, they saw another couple from Europe which had something that drew attention of Ana and Jim – they were not sure why exactly, but they just somehow didn’t fit in the relaxed atmosphere. They were very picky about the food, and obviously also a bit nervous as they couldn’t wait for the waiter to come by but instead, they kept asking things about the menu at the counter. The night moved on, Ana and Jim went back to the hostel and packed everything. The next day, they had to move on early, so they fell asleep quite early in the evening.
The day came when Ana and Jim had to catch their train from Cusco to the village of Aguas Calientes near Machu Picchu. The expensive and luxury train of Peru Rail, going from Cusco to Machu Picchu, was filled mainly with tourists. Because on the train, also food was served, each guest seated around a small table on the train: 4 travellers around one table, 2 on each side. And just as if not enough coincidences happened on their travels, Ana and Jim find themselves seated across the table with the couple from the yesterday’s vegetarian restaurant. The two tourists seem to be German from the language they spoke, so Ana strikes a conversation with them in English language, asking them where they are from in Germany. The train ride lasted for two hours, and even though the germans weren’t overly talkative, Ana learned that they are actually two students of archeology, intending to trek a bit deeper into the Peruvian jungle after visiting Machu Picchu. They are very well equipped, wearing trekking shoes, and some high tech equipment for trekking. They said that last year, they already did the Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu, and that this year, they plan to go off the beaten path a bit. As they said, it was just because they love to trek, they said. But to Ana, it all seemed a bit strange: why would an archeology student go trekking into the wild of aincient Peru just for the sake of the love of trekking?
The day goes by, and Ana and Jim move into their hostel in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu. The next morning, they will catch a bus to the aincient city – together with hundereds of other tourists. In the evening, they inform Diego about their plan more precisely, and the three say to meet at the gate to the city in the midday next day.
Next morning, people start to queue for the bus very early. The queue is long, but there are many buses, driving hundereds of tourists to Machu Picchu already at 5.30 AM. Ana and Jim make it to Machu Picchu, and while many people visit the aincient city with the guides and start climbing it, they take a different path. Not knowing where they should go or where there might go, they wander the city, and quickly find themselves far from the entrance to Machu Picchu, deep in the ainicent city’s ruins. The morning is so foggy that it’s impossible to see from one end of the city to the other end; one can only see a few ten meters ahead. They really enjoy wandering alone, and at some point, they can see a bunch of tourists through the fog on the other side of Machu Picchu, entering the city and following the guides.
When they approach the aincient city’s Temple of the Sun which stands on top of a pyramid-like structure, they stop and stare without breath – they hear 3 familliar voices, speaking quechua language in an intense tone – like if the wanted to scream while whispering – somewhere on the other side of the walls. They look at each other in silence and Ana points with her finger back downstairs in the direction from which they arrived. They silently step down from the pyramid and walk over to the other side of the city ruins, where the first groups of tourists started to wander around. Jim kept making sure that quechua-speaking people didn’t notice them. When safely among other tourists, they start discussing in their Slovene language whether they both heard the same thing. Was that Diego speaking with the Germans in quechua up there in the yet unpopulated zone of Machu Picchu? To both, it seems they heard exactly that. They have a strange feeling that something more than just a tourist visit is happening there. Why would Diego be there already 5 hours earlier than when they talked to meet? Do Germans know Diego, does he know them? Did Germans know that Ana and Jim got to know Diego? Why would those people meet in an unpopulated zone of Machu Picchu early in the foggy morning to have a tense conversation? Why would they do it in a secret quechua language? ….read the next part of the novel here.
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Matic is tech startup guy who loves to spend time outside. In his free time he is an true outdoor freak – he tends to surf, run and ride a mountain bike, and in the winter time just loves powder skiing and snowboarding. Matic also loves to travel, often has to because of work, and even more often because he wants to 🙂