We left the lovely ARANWA hotel to catch the 07:10 from Cuzco to Puno.
Again PeruRail have excelled themselves again. All the carriages are a confection of 1920’s mahogany and brass. The chairs in each are wing backed and roomy, four to a table and two to a table on the other side of the carriage’s central aisle.
Each table has a brass lamp and vase of red alstroemerias. The staff are delightfully attentive and even this early in the morning we look forward to our three-course lunch with wine and our afternoon tea; all as befits a ten-hour journey.
|Telegraph poles march across the land|
We lumber along through the countryside. People are working in the fields, villages of low buildings some in bright pink or blue. On hillsides there are ruined settlements. Telegraph poles march across the land. Often we are close to a swollen river and then, all of a sudden; mountains crowd in on either side of the track. These peaks then yield to wide plains with small pastures.
This is an enthralling landscape making it hard to look anywhere else but out of our carriage window for the entire three hundred and fifty kilometres.
LA RAYA A SHORT STOP
About half way through the ten and half hour journey we stop at La Raya, little more than a halt comprising a small church and an area crammed with high benches on which the local people display handicraft work for sale. Fellow passengers get off the train, take photographs, and poke around the goods on offer and then re-board, just in time for luncheon, having bought little.
|La Raya, small church and a place for the local people to display handicraft|
We finish this wonderful train ride in Puno a city on the edge of Lake Titicaca. Tomorrow we journey on the world's highest navigable lake. It was dark when we stepped off the train with its usual confusion of people and luggage, outside the station the inevitable line of tour buses. It started to rain, heavily, adding to the gloom. We were soon cheered up by a new tour guide; Tour Guide Sindy.