Riding the Machu Picchu recovery train

As our Inca Rail train pulls of Machu Picchu town, I realize my hands are…well, they’re not clean. There’s Incan dirt under my nails. Also, my jeans are spattered with mud. My jacket is soaked through with the rain that dogged us as we explored the ruined city.

Inca Rail sketch, Machu Picchu, Peru photo

$30 Inka Rail Sketch, 8 in x 10 in, marker on paper, 2012

I’m really looking forward to the next 90 minutes in my cush seat on Inca Rail. My bum right knee, which insists on aging faster than the rest of me, feels more like a cheese ball than bone after our day of slippery hiking around Machu Picchu.

Before I can taste my te de coca (oh yes, we drank cocaine-ish tea all through Peru) or my snacks, I am zonked out.

Todd stayed awake on our Inca Rail ride, as he put it, “Chugga-lugging out of Machu Picchu watching the misty mountaintops, terraced farms, and raging river fly by. It felt like…um,…like—oh just look at my drawings.”

Obviously, I love him mostly for his non-verbal qualities.

Looking up inside the train from Machu Picchu photo

$30 Looking up on Inka Rail. 8 in x 10 in, marker on paper, 2012

After my nap, we spend some awake time cozied up on the train together, drying out and happy. Though the Machu Picchu part of our trip is over, the rest of our Peruvian travels are just beginning. We arrive in Ollantaytambo and ease our sore bodies out of our seats and off the train.

Walking toward the well-guarded train station exit we spot the inevitable group of taxi touts just outside. They seem an impenetrable mob—that is, if you haven’t perfected your “tout swimming” technique during a year of traveling around the world.

“Follow me,” I tell Todd. I plunge into the dense crowd, hands extended like a diver, breaking their eager surface tension. Then, I gently wave the touts aside with a series of outsweeping breaststroke moves.

My tout swimming not only easily parts the sea of taxi drivers, it also elicits (what I hope is) a surprised, admiring laugh from a local woman standing nearby. I find her face in the crowd and join in her laughter, before we set off on foot to our hotel home.

This is a sponsored post. That said, the unbiased opinions included are all ours.