First we got a story about local spirits and folk-lore - that is what I worked out when I looked up from my novel (sat at the front of the carriage) to find a masked demon staring at me, very pleased with himself. Fortunately I wasn't the only one on the train entertaining themselves - a look back down the aisle found a bunch of people who were less than interested with my new reading buddy.
But that wasn't the end of the entertainment. You see we were in Peru, not far from one factory or another that made fine clothing from Alpaca wool. So why not get the stewards to give us a fashion show - after all, the aisle of an old Peruvian train is pretty similar to a Parisian catwalk...........isn't it??!! Well, it is straight.
So we arrived in Ollantaytambo in what felt like minutes - slow train but lots of time passing entertainment! As we expected there were plenty of taxis, buses and mini-vans offering transport to Cusco so we found a good looking, modern, mini van with a couple in the back waiting for a few extra passnegers. We jumped in and hoped that the combination of western tourists, mini van sportiness and an uphill, mountainous drive would all add up to a sedate trip back to Cusco.
Unfortunately, this was kind of the last trip of this type we were expecting to under take this year so the Travel Gods wanted to make it memorable! I mean frightfully memorable to the point that I think I could have just as easily had a full on anxiety attack (or throttle the driver - both not appropriate behaviour but hey, this guy was nuts!). In less than an hour we covered the same route that other vehicles take over 90 minutes to cover - buses take more than 2 hours. Our saving grace I believe was that the moron could actually drive and did know the road. He didn't miss a corner, used the road well and never had to over-brake - but jeez, what a way to earn a living!?
I have learnt this lesson so many times in the last 20 years - negotiate a good price and then save some money to bribe the driver to SLOW DOWN when he drives like a lunatic - kind of like buying a little bit more of his time (as well as saving him some fuel) and buying yourself a life time!