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Desamparados train station and the road to heaven!
To take the trip up the Andes, you first have to go to the Desamparados Station to get the train. That station is next to the Rimac River and the Government Palace. The ride to Huancayo takes about 12 hours, but they are certainly worth it, as it is quite spectacular! One goes past many typical Andean villages, but also sees rivers finding their rocky way down to the coast. At higher altitudes it is also possible to see the proud llamas grazing on the side, while Indian women spin their wool framed by the majestic snowy mountains behind them.
The journey starts at sea level, but during the trip one climbs up to nearly 4,783 metres in what is the second highest railway in the world! One has to wonder about the engineering feat that railway project must have been at the time it was built, when technology was not as advanced as it is today! Like a goat going up a steep incline, the train zig-zags its way up the mountains, as it goes past bridges and tunnels to get to its destination.
Mining towns are also to be found on the way and soon after starts the descent to the city of Huancayo, capital of the Junin province. The city is well known for its marketplace, which takes place on Sundays and a visit is highly recommended, especially if you are looking for handicrafts.
If Huancayo was not heavenly enough, you can also take the train further, so as to visit Huancavelica.
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