So we had suffered Puno for a night… and our reward was a train ride that I had found on the internet. Lonely Planet said “Overpriced, follows the same route as the bus, takes the same time and costs 5 x as much.” How wrong were they…
We turned up at 0730 as per the detail given to us. On arrival we soon realised that this trip would indeed by quite special. The departure lounge was very different to the average British Rail departure lounge. It was all very posh and we felt quite out of place, in our back packer clothes and rucksacks as everyone else had matching luggage and vanity cases!
Once we were given our seats, we soon realised that we weren’t the only reprobates on the train as there was a very “Bogan” Aussie sat behind us, which made us feel at little more at ease.
The best way to describe the train was to say it was akin to the “Orient Express,” all silver service and armchair seats.
The train had a viewing gallery as the last carriage, which was open aired and excellent for taking pictures. Within the first hour we started to get a feel of how dramatic the scenery was going to be.
We held out until lunchtime before ordering a bottle of wine… However, a few sips in and “Happy Hour” was announced. “Two for the price of one!” yelled Mr Ozzy as he leapt out of his seat and ran to the bar. Not going to lie… I followed, leaving Anneliese at her seat who took it upon herself to order some PIna Coladas from the passing waiter (well it is happy hour, was her excuse). Meanwhile I was stood at the bar watching Ozzy demonstrate to the train how to rustle up a Pisco Sour (local Peruvian drink). Time was ticking! Happy hour was turning into happy half hour!!!
As the train ride began to draw to a close, we soon realised that the transition between the Andean Explorer and Machu Picchu was rather tight. On arrival, we managed to get to the Machu Picchu tour operator’s office 26 minutes before we lost our $450 deposit… Plenty of time!