Luxury train through the Andes

Perurail runs a luxury train from Puno to Cusco in the holy valley of the Inkas. It feels like a 1920s Orient Express: everything is paneled with dark wood, there are comfortable big chairs, tablecloths, brass lamps, and vases with real roses. Got an excellent three-course lunch and afternoon tea. The next car was a bar/panorama car, with an open back and windows in the roof. All very posh.

The ten-hour trip first runs across a flat plateau. It passes through villages that have discovered the value of the train tracks as an outdoor market. When the train arrives, they move their carts and umbrellas away and put them back when the train has passed. Blankets with wares between the tracks stay where they are, we simply roll over them. Reminds me of Saigon.

Later the terrain rises to 4300 meters, and the hills on both sides become steep, and some are capped with snow. Our slow descent to Cusco takes us through greener and more wooded countryside. A travel day can’t be much more interesting and scenic than this!