A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random adventures through South America,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

can you tell me how to get, how to get to lake titicaca?

when planning our route in peru, we decided that we wanted to take a long train ride.  we had heard that peru had beautiful train lines.  and really, shouldn't we all be traveling by train more often?  many people we encountered said that they were venturing to puno via bus, but we had heard horror stories of rickety old buses going up and down windy mountain roads for endless hours.  so that is how we wound up on an infinitely more expensive 8 hour train ride from cusco to puno.  and let me tell you dear blog readers ... it was awesome.

we boarded the train at about 8 am, where we were seated at a small table (with table cloth & small vase of flowers) along with big cushy armchairs.  as the train left cusco, we passed all sorts of sites, including a strange area where people seemed to have a large variety of wooden furniture for sale set up right next to the tracks.  (wooden furniture row?)


soon it was announced that there would be a "fashion show" in the last car.  ooooh, fashion show!  the front half of the car was a bar, with more cushy armchairs, and the back half of the car was all windows with a long bench where you can sit and get a 360 degree view of the scenery.  nice!  so we planted ourselves in the back by the windows and watched while the "models" showed off a variety of scarves and peruvian style knit hats and gloves.  i guess when you're in cold mountain towns this is what high fashion is.

there was some debate between the bolshevik and i as to the level of professionalism of these models.  for instance, are they really models at all?  or maybe they are just a collection of the more attractive Peru Rail employees who usually answer the phones but on certain days they get to ride the "fashion train?"  i then pondered the possibilities of becoming a "train model" myself.  surely i can meet their standards of excellence, no?

after the fashion show, we were entertained with live peruvian music.  i tell you, i love live peruvian music.  it's quite common to see performances in the fancier restaurants: men in ponchos with guitars and drums and all sizes of pan pipes.  one time i went to dinner without the bolshevik and of course i wound up buying a CD of one of the local bands performing.  i am a sucker that way.

anyhoo, nonstop fun on this train!  at one point we made a little stop at a small mountain town where locals tried to sell us handicrafts.  the bolshevik and i were distracted by a large field of llamas.

we went over to take pictures, and soon a little local boy came up to us and said, "you give me a dollar?"  now, this kid has a lot to learn from the merchant children of cusco.  did he have any finger puppets?  no.  did he liken me to any celebrities or first ladies?  no.  sorry kid, i'm not just giving out money for kicks here! 

back on the train we were served lunch, which included a soup, entree, glass of wine, and a small torte for dessert.

as the day went on there was a second round of peruvian music.  we watched as we passed by mountains and rivers and other majestic nature.  in the late afternoon we were served tea and little finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off.  all of this was included in the price of our ticket, which although expensive by peruvian standards, was probably of a similar cost to an 8-hour train ride on amtrak.

this leads me to wonder about the suck-fest which is amtrak:  why is amtrak so expensive when there are never any llamas included? ponder that dear blog readers, ponder that.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I was wondering if it would be ok to use your llama picture in a little project I'm working on. It's not a commercial project and I would credit your image with a link to your page. Please contact me at remy.roman.89@gmail.com, I would really love to use this picture.

    Cheers, Remy

    ReplyDelete