Still Travelling at Speed...

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Weīd taken a one carriage train at 6:30 am from Huancavelica to Huancayo and Ed provided entertainment for the locals when my 15 kilo backpack bounced off the luggage rack onto his head. I was worried for a moment that he was paralysed, but after I knew he wasnīt, I was laughing as hard as the locals.

The trip was beautiful, winding slowly through the Andean countryside via ravines and gravelly rivers. At each station, local ladies would jump on the bus selling full meals - soups, stews, rice and bread. They had ingenious racks to hold multiple individual pots of food which the customers ate out of and returned. No concerns from them about burning themselves of their customers with piping hot food as the train rocked and rattled. They also provided papas rellenas (filled potatoes) which are delicious!

I should mention at this stage, that in the Andean countries there is little consideration for what is and isnīt breakfast food. Basically, it isnīt unusual for people to be eating stew and potatoes or a pork soup at 6am in the morning - I think the locals think we are odd with our fruit and muesli.

The prosperous-looking conductor and train driver accepted quantities of free food from the ladies in return for being allowed to sell food on the train and sit down if there were free seats. Quite a perk of the job!

At one stage, the train stopped while the conductor and driver got out and removed obstructions from the track, but still we arrived in Huancayo on time. The city itself is fairly uninspiring, mostly modern, busy and we had received several warnings about thieves from concerned locals within minutes of arriving.

We decided to escape the city by taking a bus out to the nearby village of San Jeronimo which is famous for handmade silver filigree jewellery. While much of the work wasnīt to our taste, some of the silver is actually crocheted into intricate patterns - really impressive work. The local kids posed for some photos for Ed, luckily the town isnīt so touristy that they demanded money per shot!
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