It is 9:30 AM, and we just finished buying bus tickets. We want to get a cab to downtown Cusco, get some lunch, go to the bank and then return to this bus station on the outskirts of town just in time to hop on the afternoon bus bound for Quillabamba. That’s when we see him . . . well, to be more correct, we hear the thumping . . .

Across the street sits a tiny little cab decked out with flashy rims, waiting for us. The young driver is jamming in his seat along with the rhythmic “umph, umph, umph” of the dance music blaring from the speakers loaded in the hatchback. The hood of the cab sports a graphic of the Tasmanian Devil with flames. The interior of the cab is covered with a glitzy cloth in honor of Senor De Huanca, of course, but that’s the only similarity to the average Cusquenian cab.

I have a lot of respect for this kid’s cab. In a town where just about every taxi is exactly alike, Dante and his disco-mobile really stand out. We tell him that all he needs are disco balls and a van and he could start his own new kind of specialized tour company that caters to the party crowd. We jam through the streets of Cusco. Dante is such a personable guy that we get his phone number so he can be our regular cab driver. We ask him to pick us up later in the day at the same spot.

He returns promptly at 1PM and rocks us right back to the bus station, where we begin our adventure to Quillabamba . . .