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Celebrating LIFE on the road, living in the moment Traveling in search of ocean views, great fun, some exciting interactions and new adventures.

Train to Cuzco

PERU | Saturday, 26 May 2007 | Views [829] | Comments [1]

The train from Puno to Cuzco is a 10 hour ride that takes the rider through the sacred valley and parts of peru that have managed for thousands of years with a simple lifestyle characterized by lots of work. THe day was perfect for our trip with temps in the 70's and a perfectly blue sky as a backdrop. The folks on the train were strictly about 1st class service. We opted to take the first class as a special way to celebrate the birthday of one of our traveling collaborators. The train is small and well maintained. Our seats are actually arm chairs with high backs seated around a linen draped table. The trip includes a three course dinner with first rate service. THe train itself consists of our car, the dining car and the vistadome car. The vistadome is open air and has windows in the roof of the car to improve the visibility and views. The back of the train is open and when standing on the back you can see the landscape open up as we trek through the valley surrounded by mountains on both sides. As we begin our trip it's not long before we find ourselves traveling through the countryside. It is fall here and the people are working to bring in the barley as well as tend to the sheep and llama herds. Since it's a Saturday the towns we go through are in the midst of laying out their wares for the weekly market. THere are no walmarts or targets here (thank goodness) so if one needs supplies it seems they go to the market. The market has an amazing assortment of tools, tires, clothes, and anything else a person may need in this world to survive. It is fun to glide through the towns where some people wave while others (usually young boys) throw rocks at or near the train. I think it's a game of sorts to see who can come closest to the train with their pebble. We haven't traveled long on the train before we are told that we will be honored to have a shaman or priest to bless the trip with ceremonial incense and cocca leaves. THe cocca leaves are selected carefully as a part of the shaman's ritual. Once the three leaves have been selected the shaman spreads them like a card spread and waves them N,S,E and W while making sure the incense is also wafting through the leaves. THe Shaman then blows a large conch shell and wishes safety for all as we pass through the land on this magnificent train ride. The ride while ten hours seems to end all too soon. THe folks on the train seem to enjoy the ride in different ways. Some read books, some try a few psico sours, some run from side to side taking pictures and waving as we pass the people and their towns. THe journey is magical in that I try to wave and get as many as I can to wave back. Sometimes the peruvians are passive, some might smile, some wave enthusiastically, others raise a hand or smile in acknowledgement. The fun for me of course is the idea that for half a second two perfect strangers share a mutual space on earth and acknowledge one another one way or another. It's a memory I love and will keep for ever. Of course these folks see people on trains every day so I am not so sure the connection is the same for them! The pics only tell 1/4 of the story, the trip on the train was pure joy, magic and great fun. The food and entertainment were both fantastic as well.

Tags: On the Road



How wonderful it has been to read your journal entries and view your photos. Thank you for allowing me to look in on your travels. You appear relaxed and at home with the people and the land.

  Patty Jun 2, 2007 6:11 AM

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