Friday........................Andean Explorer Puno to Cusco
Cusco Travel Blog› entry 38 of 129 › view all entries
I get up at ¼ to 7 so that I can leave at 7:15 by taxi. The porter comes and takes my case. I leave the room and lock it. Just as I’m walking down the passage I stop to check my bag for the usual, glasses, purse, etc. The bag seems lighter than usual and I can’t find my purse. I rush back to the room, tip everything out of both bags; no purse. Fortunately the porter comes back to find me. I ask him to look under the bed; I can’t get down there because of the splint. He comes up all excited with a texta pen, no, that’s not it. He dives down again, this time on the other side of the bed. He comes up with my wallet. What a relief, I tip him and hurry down to the taxi.
Gregorio has given me the best seat on the train.
I type a bit of the blog, look out the window, then we are invited to the lounge car for a welcome Pisco Sour (very nice). While we are having our drinks a Peruvian quartet starts playing and a woman dances.
Lunch entrée was fantastic, some form of sushi, but really only sushi in shape. Main course and dessert OK. Afterwards I did what you do on trains, not much. Spent quite a long time in the observation carriage, took lots of photos. We stopped at La Raya where there was a market, the usual tourist fare. Some people got off to have a look. I couldn’t see any point in saying no, gracias a zillion times, so stayed on the train.
The only disadvantage of being on the right side was that there was quite a bit of sun, so I opened and closed the curtains several times.
The train tooted many times, including going through towns, where it always slowed down, and many people wave, mainly the children. I immediately notice the difference between Bolivia and Peru. The soil here is much darker and is used extensively for agriculture, which I saw little of in Bolivia. We are following a river bed for much of the way, so it’s not surprising that it’s more fertile in this area. For some reason I’d expected that we’d be climbing up into the mountains, but in fact, Cusco is 400m lower than Puno.
Going through the countryside is like a journey into the past. We see people threshing grain (wheat? Quinoa?) with large sticks, cutting grain by hand, tending small flocks of sheep (there are no fences), donkeys being used as work horses. In one town the train drives through the centre of the market and as soon as we leave, they are already putting the stalls back in the centre of the train line.
We reach Cusco at about 6 and Nellie from FairPlay is there to meet me soon after. In Cusco I am having a homestay, lessons and practical classes with an organization called Fairplay. www.fairplay-peru.org. Grammar lessons are NS12, AUD4.
Cusco is much bigger than I had imagined. I am tired from the long train trip but of course Nele only speaks Spanish with me.
I am anxious to have my knee checked out tomorrow, but it turns out that Roy and Gloria are doctors. Roy is a dermatologist and Gloria a radiologist! Gloria looks at my x-rays and says that there are no fissures, which is what the hospital said, but that I have damaged a ligament. She thinks that I should wear the splint for about a month. So much for the doctor in Sucre who had a hissy fit when I had a glass of red wine.
We have something to eat with the family and then play a game , sapotrying to throw metal objects like large coins into the mouth of the frog.