Last Minute Has Its Advantages

La Raya Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 26 › view all entries
I am in Puno right now, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.  It has been a hectic past few hours.  I got a little sick from some food I purchased at a train stop (at 4300m!) and have a bit of a cough from inhaling the train's exhaust - I spent half the train ride with my head and arms outside the window as there has been so much to see - from simple altiplano life to incredibly crowded rail markets along the way.

After this morning's rush to get onto the train, I thought I would reflect on how being last minute and flexible has its advantages.

I started the morning by visiting a travel agency to book  train ticket.  It was 7:30 a.m.  Unfortunately, she told me there were no trains to Puno until tomorrow.  Instead, I hired a taxi to take me to the bus station, but half way there, I read in my guide book, that there was, in fact a train leaving at 8 a.m. 

I asked the driver to turn around and head to the train station where I was confronted with a mass of people waiting to be served.  Fortunately, one of the Peru Rail staff noticed my situation and got me a last minute ticket.  According to my guide book, the train is often full and needs to be booked in advance.  Still, I got onto the train with 5 minute to spare.  Knowing that I was the last one on, I simply picked an empty table on the left side (to view th scenery), and enjoyed a very comfortable and scenic ride to Puno.

Same situation with my flight.  I boarded last, and got an entire row of seats to myself.

Same with trekking.  I paid $150 for the trek, which is a real deal, considering the entrance fee into Machu Picchu and the rail ticket combined cost $60.  It only makes me wonder what the guides, porters, and cooks are being paid.

The Catch:

Well, the Inti Rami festival was going on in Cuzco yesterday, and there were absolutely no accommodations available when I returned.   I simply had to shack up in a room three of my trekking partners had wisely booked in advance.  Well, the room was really only large enough for three - the beds pretty much took up the entire room and there was a small bit of walking space which I had to pull out my sleeping bag onto.  The walking space, actually, wasn't enough for me to stretch out, so I kind of slept diagonally with my feet under one of the beds.  Oh well.  Better than the streets for sure!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
La Raya