The road to Bolivia....

Trip Start Aug 15, 2006
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13
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Trip End May 27, 2008


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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, September 11, 2006

I got the early bus to Puno with the idea of changing buses to head to Copacabana, Bolivia. Yet again, although I got on the bus at 7.30am they decided to immediately show movies, some crap low budget american horror about a flying devil, some weird film set in Africa and Lord of the Rings 2, again all in Spanish with no subtitles (you only get that on the really posh buses which i can't afford anymore!). I arrived in Puno pretty tired to be told that the Bolivians are striking at the border and I'm stuck here till tomorrow. I would rather have stayed in Arequipa as I heard Puno smells like a toliet and the islands in Lake Titicaca (highest lake in the world) aren't great (plus it's expensive to stay here). However, I had an afternoon to kill so I went to check out the floating reed islands which was a bit of a disaster. Stuck on a boat with a young french coule on their honeymoon, plus a Belgian guy who'd paid 3 times the normal price to leave earlier (he said he had an arragement with the company but I'm not sure who got the best eal really!). As he said he'd paid for the boat he decided I should give him the fare as the captain already had the full price for the tour due to him paying extra. Of course the captain knew nothing and it was all organised with the company in their office so it got a bit delicate but I'd given up my fare so I let them sort it out. The floating island were unique but i was bored after 2 minutres as you're dumped on this tiny piece of land with people trying to sell you stuff and there's nowhere to run unlike Cusco. You don't get to se any of the traditional life or culture of the island, just look at stalls of suff you can buy in Puno. We were then taken to another island which was the same, just stalls of stuff i didn't want to buy so I wouldn't recomend Puno. I did manage to find some reasonable lemon merangue tonight for tea though and have an early bus booked for Copacabana in the morning so should be able to see the nicer side of Lake Titicaca but won't have internet for a few days I think if I stay on the islands.

Peru is a nice country but differs vastle depending on where you are and so does the level of poverty. In the city centres it is quite nice, packed full of restaurants and taxis and tourists, but the outskirts are full of derelict houses (although there's washing out so people must live there) and loads of stray dogs. The buildings are really run down in small towns and the landscape between towns in usually pretty dry and barren with bumpy dusty roads. They are also big into music, either loud spanish stuff or Shakiera. I keep hearing the same song and it drives me insane, it was on the Inka trail and also a while ago in this internet cafe! They pretty much eat any animal which I guess makes sense if it's a poor country, but they eat tons of carbs-bread, potatoes, pasta and rice all in one meal. Apart from those that have tried to rip me off they have been really friendly and I have managed to attempt some conversations with hostel staff etc which has been amusing. They also drive like crazy, don't indicate and use their horns a lot, which (like I've heard in Nepal), seems to work.

So fingers crossed. i will be leaving this nice country tomorrow although it's a shame but time is running out. Prob no internet for a few days but you are probably all bored with my drivel, but like I said before this is essentially for my record so I want to include all the crap as well as the interesting stuff. You can just look at the pictures if you like!.....
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