Peru and Easter Island Day Five

May 3, 2010

Peru and Easter Island Day Five

I get up and head for breakfast again; I have the same as yesterday, bread, ham and cheese that I make a sandwich out of. I check out of the hotel and am picked up at 7.15 for a short trip to the train station, there I board the first class Andean Explorer train.

Imagine what the Orient Express used to be like back in the 1920’s, that is what this was like. I have my own armchair for the duration of the trip from Puno to Cusco a total of 228 miles.

At the back of the train is an observation carriage where I spend most of my time. Although it is a ten hour trip it goes very quickly and I do not get bored at all.

The train passes through many towns and villages along the way, the first of which is Juliaca where we go though the centre of the Market, no sooner as the train passes the locals move their stands back over the tracks.

Midway through the morning we have pisco sours in the dining car and when we are drinking that a band performs for us.

Lunch is served at 12.00 and is three courses, I have a soup, pork for a main and a fruit mouse for dessert all of which went down with a nice glass of wine.

There is only 12 passengers on the train including me so there is lots of space to be by yourself and relax or is you fancy a chat all you need to do is start talking to someone.

La Raya is the half was point and also the highest point of the track with an elevation of 4313 metres; we stop there for ten minutes. There is a small Market and a little church. The other Andean Explorer train from Cusco also arrives at this time and both our trains change tracks.

From this point on it is all downhill, in the afternoon there is a fashion show on board with two ladies modelling scarves etc. There is also a demonstration by the bartender on how to make a pisco sour with help from one of the passengers.

We follow the Urbamba river for a while on in some places you can see the damage that the flooding caused earlier in the year. About an hour and a half outside of Cusco we have afternoon tea with some little sandwiches and cakes.

When we arrive in Cusco I say goodbye to the other passengers and staff and take my ride to the hotel.

I am staying at the Sol Plaza Inn which is in a great location just off the Plaza de Armas, I check in and everything looks nice, it is set around an outside courtyard. But then I go to my room, the first thing I notice is the door has two large panes of frosted glass and you can virtually see into the room, ok I think at least I would close the curtains which I assumed would be on the other side, wrong, when I open the door there are no curtains. The rest of the room is no better; it is tiny with two very small single beds and a grubby little bathroom with only a cold water tap on the sink.

There is no room to put anything so use a chair to keep my case on and the other bed to lay my clothes for the next day.

I go out to a restaurant called Tunupka on the square, the food was ok but nothing special, it was also more expensive that Puno. About halfway through my meal a band comes out and plays some songs.

After I finish my meal I was around the Plaza de Armes and then go back to the hotel.

As I lay in my room I could plainly see everyone going past my door, and if I could see them that means they could see me, this hotel is definitely not suitable for a frisky couple. I could also hear people talking in the rooms next to me.

Andean Explorer Train Ride

Cusco at Night

Hotel Sol Plaza Inn, Cusco

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