Early next morning, we got up to catch the Titicaca train from Puno to Cusco. An 11 hour luxury train trip that Richard had researched back in September, and paid for, so we conveniently forgot how much this bit of the journey cost! This is by far, the most luxurious bit of travel we will do!
We arrived backpacks dangling from every arm, and running to the station as we underestimated how busy the roads would be with the carnival! We checked our bags in and waited in the waiting room with a coffee. I heard a massive HAWK from the female bathroom, and knew immediately… I just hadn’t heard that noise in a while!
Our porter took us to our carriage, and we had a table on the right and side of the train, with crisp white table cloth, lamp, cuttlery and wine glasses. We just laughed, as we hadn’t seen such luxury for a long time! The train is a special train with only 2 passenger carriages, which wasn’t full and an amazing outdoor viewing carriage at the end of the bar. It was just wonderful! We set of bang on time at 7.30am and stared to leave Puno. Lots of markets, selling coca leaves, bits of old bicycle and huge old speakers right next to the train tracks. We had coffee and water throughout the trip and lunch which was gorgeous! The bar welcomed us with a Pisco Sour cocktail and we had bar snacks to a local Cusco 3 piece band. It got more surreal with a Peruvian dancer and 2 fashion models, sampling lots of Alpaca jumpers, shawls, ponchos up and down the bar corridor. Things got even stranger, when the male model took my hand and started salsa-ing in the aisle! I knew it! Dancing in the aisles, in Peru! It was hilarious and weird all the same time… and then… what can only be described as a massive train Congo just begun! We were up! We shimmied, shuffled and side stepped round the outside carriage for what felt like well.. too long! Then we started going through the rest of the train! It was only 10.30am!!
The rest of the journey flew by. We saw loads of llama and alpaca on farms on running free. We reached the highest point on the track at 4,500m where we were allowed off for 10 minutes. It was cold, some snow on the ground and great views of the mountain peaks of the Andes.
Arriving in Cusco around 6.30pm passing residential areas was amazing. The train tracks are so close to people, houses and everyday life we felt we were arriving right in the middle of Cusco… which we actually did.
This is where we start volunteering in a local school and where Jack will go to school for the next 2 weeks.
We are volunteering with a charity called Globalteer and we have paid for this a while ago. Jillian, one of the co-ordinators picked us up and took us to our guest house, quite near both the office and the centre of Cusco.