Day 50 June 6, 2016
Countries 7 Hotels 22 Cars 37
Flights 12:flying time 46.52 hours
Rickshaws 4 Buses 4 Elephant 1 Boat 3
Cog-wheel train 2 Cable cars 6 Subway 4 Ferry 2
Minibus 27 Coach 2 Catamaran 1 Funicular 3
Pick up truck 1 Land Cruiser 8 Hydrofoil 4
Llama 1 Cycle Taxi 1 Train 1
Left the hotel today at 7.30 for my rail journey to Cuzco. The journey took ten hours and I wasn’t sure what to expect on the train. It started very well the seats on the train are armchairs, I was escorted to my seat which has a table with a vase of flowers and a lunch menu on, always a good start. It was next to the bar carriage and then the observation carriage, which is completely open at the end so one can stand and take photos or wave at locals. A bonus was I was facing the direction of travel so no travel sickness.
The train left Puno at 8am and shortly after a man came to request what I would like for lunch and afternoon tea. He barely batted an eyelash when I advised of my dietary requirements, made notes offered a rather nice alternative to the afternoon tea, which of course was bread and cream cake, and moved on to the next table. The staff were immaculate dressed and provided the highest levels of service. There was a different person for each function; drinks, lunch, general stuff, someone whose job it seemed was just to ask one if they were happy and did they want anything.
The first point of interest on the trip was going through Juliaca. It has a market here and it must have taken us five minutes to move through it, it was huge, and everything is sold here, it looked like in sections, food, shoes, textiles, machinery, car parts etc etc. The stallholders don’t let the fact that a railway track runs through the market, stop them from trading. When the train approaches, they move large objects, such as awnings, stalls etc. from the tracks, leaving their goods in the middle of the track for the train to rumble over, and then once the train has passed move everything back into place. Add to this locals posing for photos as we are all hanging out the back of the observation deck with cameras, people waving and shouting random words in English and you have an extraordinary sight.
Around 10.30 ish an announcement was made, ‘please come to the observation car for a welcome drink. Of course I went, it was a lovely cold mimosa, such a treat as haven’t had a drink for over a week due to the antibiotics, it was so delicious. Then music and dancing, a local group from Puno who played and a woman who danced, changing her costumes a few times, the alcohol and the lively music created a party atmosphere, it was really very good.
Lunch was delicious, then there was a demonstration on how to make a pisco sour, more music and dancing, then cocktails, then afternoon tea and before I knew it we had arrived in Cuzco, around 6.30pm. After I checked into my hotel I went for a walk down into the city square. What a delight Cuzco is, a really lovely atmosphere, beautiful buildings, and very safe.