Captive Audience. After my 5:40am start and my hike up to the Sun Gate, I was ready to relax and zone out on my 3-hour Perurail train ride to Ollantaytambo (then 2-hour car back to Cusco.) I didn’t care that the train wasn’t as nice as the one on the way up; I just wanted to sit there and stare out the window. As if sensing this, two crew members took turns performing (what seemed like) an hour-long fashion show, prancing up and down the aisle to upbeat music, wearing various alpaca garb: scarves, sweaters, sweater-scarves. Of course, these were available to purchase for however-many hundred dollars. I wish I’d been like like, “Oh, how nice. A fashion show.” But I wasn’t. My thoughts were similar to some of the commenters in this NY Times article on subway performance art (minus the parts about the risk of bodily harm.) Then this guy danced a jig for awhile.
Do you know the Incan-Peruvian Diablo Clown-God of Trains and Travel? Yeah, I don’t either. He’s a representation of some Peruvian figure I was too dazed to comprehend. The best part was the passengers busting out their tablets to capture him digitally. I can’t wait until tablet-picture-taking goes the way of laserdiscs, brightly-colored crocs and other horrible things:
Jackpot! (Kind of…) In trying to research what this creepy Diablo-Clown could be, I came across this “Not For Everyone” review on the Inca Trail. It’s as if the guy who wrote it was on my train! “We caught an afternoon train back to Cusco. They played the same 3 techno songs on a continuous loop at a very loud volume the whole trip. Half-way through a man dressed like a clown with a devil mask appeared in our car and started dancing. I’m serious. You can’t make this stuff up. All we wanted to do was sleep but that was not on their agenda. After the clown departed the train attendants put on a “fashion show” for another 20 minutes and we were given the opportunity to buy alpaca sweaters and scarves. No thanks.”
One More. It’s tough to read visually (paragraph breaks are our friends!) but this gal was quite caught off guard by her encounter Incan-Peruvian Diablo Clown-God of Trains and Travel.
Anyway. The scenery on the way to and from Aguas Calientes is nice. Much of it is the Sacred Valley. Enjoy:
• Regarding the guy with the blue jacket in the middle of nowhere: What do you think he’s doing way out there?
• Also, please let me know in the comments if you know who the motley man on the train was portraying. (Oh sure, NOW I want to know… And yes. Yes, I do.)
Our train had “Horse Clown Man,” before, and during, the fashion show. My daughter and I had a discussion since he didn’t seem to leave out car. We wondered aloud if we won the “Horse Clown Man” lottery, or each car had its own “Horse Clown Man?” My daughter joked that maybe each car had a different animal. That was funny until we exited very late and exhausted at the Cuzco station to the return of the music from the train car blaring at us and a horrifying dancing menagerie of “Horse Clown Man” “Dog Clown Man” “Hog Clown Man” “Woman Clown Man” and a couple others we ran by too quickly to identify.