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“The Train to Machu Picchu (Peru)” by K.J.S.Chatrath


It had been a long simmering desire of mine to visit Peru in South America. What fuelled the fascination further were the lovely accounts of the ‘Lost’ city of Machu Picchu – nestled high up in the Andean mountains. The pictures showed the amazing ruins of an almost mythical city on top of the mountains, mostly covered with clouds. This year I decided to make the trip before the age got the better of me. I joined a Group of 14 people and the trip took off from London. On reaching Lima, we were welcomed by a wonderful Peruvian young lady who was our Tour Director. The Group comprised of people of different ages and of various nationalities- French, German, British, Croatian, American of Chinese origin and Indian. We left Lima to visit various places in Peru. Visit to Machu-Pichu was towards the end of the itinerary.

We reached the small town of Machu Picchu in the morning and boarded the shining blue coaches of Peru rail to take us to the entrance of the site. We were happy that the entire Group got seats in one compartment and it was a great atmosphere. The compartments have, besides large glass window panes, glass paned sky windows near the roof to give one a fuller view of the area. On the way the train stopped to give pass to the incoming train and we suddenly saw an old lady appearing on the rail line trying to sell her flowers to the train passengers.


She was short, rather poorly dressed up in the local Peruvian long skirt. Once she started shouting to get the attention of the passengers we realised that she had no teeth- but a very endearing toothless smile.


She gesticulated showing three finders indicating that she wanted 3 sols (approximately 1 USD) for the small bunch of flowers.


A British lady from the Group managed to put her hand out, take the small bouquet and give the money through the window with great difficulty before the train started moving again.


The old lady was ecstatic and waved vigorously.


Inside the compartment the lady who bought the flowers presented those to the young Croatian girl from the Group as it happened to be her birthday!


We all clapped for the old flower seller outside, the lady who bought the flowers and the young girl whose birthday it was….


And ther train to Machu Pichhu chugged on…

P.S. That is me in the first photograph holding a ‘CATS’ cap at the Machu Picchu railway station. I am a proud member of the “Chandigarh Adventure Treks and Sports”  (CATS)  which has the remarkable  Ms. Supreet Dhiman as its Founder President.

Text and photographs by K.J.S.Chatrath

Copyright: K.J.S. Chatrtath

4 Responses to ““The Train to Machu Picchu (Peru)” by K.J.S.Chatrath”

  1. Jagdev Ram Sareen says:

    I enjoyed the photos and the descriptions.
    Thank u for this exciting place to my eyes.
    God bless u.

  2. Anant says:

    Really nice. We will also make the Machu pichu dream come true sometimes soon…. :)

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