I’ll explain the above photo in a second. First I feel the need to relay two very odd instances of product placement during my stay thus far in Peru…
Twice now on local TV I’ve seen the same stoic anchor deliver the nightly news with a new Gillette razor positioned not-so-subtly on the desk beside him. And on the train ride home from Machu Picchu the cabin crew who only moments before had served us snacks suddenly turned our car into a runway show for made-from-llama high fashion wear. It helped that one of them was rather easy on the eyes; still, the show seemed to go on for more than half an hour, after which a cart of llama-wear made its way down the aisle. And all I wanted was more coffee.
And now, anyone who claims to be the hardest-working whatever in showbiz is gonna have to get in line behind the kid photographed above. To get to the actual ruins of Machu Picchu and from where the train stops visitors must navigate the switchbacks up a mountain by bus. During the ride back down my bus was entertained by a young local who scurried straight down the centre of our zig-zag path, allowing him to reappear and wave at us several times before we reached bottom… Try that, James Brown!
Oh yeah, Machu Picchu was spectacular, but holy crap was it ever crowded! Someone I met at my hotel here in Lima told me that visiting the ruins was like a bad day at the museum, and he wasn’t kidding. If you ever get the chance to go don’t make the same mistake I did and just visit for the day. If you can afford it, stay overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge; that way you can get up early and make your way through the ruins before all the yahoos show up!