Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Forget London Fashion Week. Peru Rail is the new black, darling...

Picture the scene... you´ve spent the whole day trekking up mountains. You´re dressed head to toe in smelly trekking gear, covered in dry sweat and dust. You´re sitting in a very comfortable seat on a train which is gently rocking and sending you into a sweet slumber. Then suddenly all hell breaks loose. Noise! Thumping electro is played through the train carriage and then the very people who were being so nice to you by serving you food and drinks on your luxury train are storming down the aisle wearing ponchos made from baby Alpaca, fishing for smiles and applause from the captive audience. This, reader, is the most bizzare fashion show on Earth.

Some marketing director with a sense of humour one day decided that the best way to sell clothes to tourists on their train would be to host a fashion show in mid transit. The poor train staff were made to wear cardigans with llama patterns on them and parade them around carriages to a soundtrack from a bad European rave.

We cowered in our seats. Trapped. We couldn´t look away for fear of appearing rude to the staff who were putting so much effort to endure their pain. But by looking, we were sanctioning this bizarre sales pitch.

If ever you find yourself on the train to Machu Picchu, I urge you to save yourself the embarassment of watching this spectacle by packing earplugs and an eyemask. As soon as you hear the first beat of anything that sounds ravey, block your sense of hearing and sight with them and pretend you´re asleep. You´ll be thanking me for this advice when you reach Cuzco.

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