Our First Sighting of Lake Titicaca!
Trip Start Jul 14, 2010
93Trip End May 18, 2011
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Where I stayed
Hostal Qīoņi Wasi
Four hours of bad sleep later, we were in Juliaca, where most of the passengers got off, leaving about 10 of us that went all the way to Puno. I had the entire row of back seats to myself, but couldnīt sleep because I knew weīd be able to see Lake Titicaca any second. Right before entering Puno, we came down a hill and were finally able to the clear blue sparkling waters of the lake
While taking a taxi to our hostel, we had to take a slight detour, as some streets had been blocked off for the festival that was going on, which included some dance competitions. We dropped our things off at the hostel, then went to the streets to see what was going on. We caught the tail end of a parade of dancing men and women, then just wandered around for a little while. The great thing about our hostel was that it had a kitchen, so we were able to cook a good, healthy, rice-free dinner for 3 soles total.
The following day was completely dedicated to getting Bolivian visas. We were told we could get the visa at the border as well, but didnīt want to have to deal with having all of our documents in hand at the border, so we opted to get it done before arriving to Bolivia. The first step was for me to get passport photos. This took all of 20 minutes, and then we were off to the Bolivian consulate to hand them our yellow fever certificates, itineraries, and $135 each and receive our visas. It was not that easy. As soon as we were seen, the guy behind the desk told us we needed X number of copies of this, X number of copies of that, times four, so we needed to come back with all of the information in hand
Anyway, back to the consulate again, and after another wait, we sheepishly handed the guy our four copies of everything, which amounted to a sizable stack of papers each. We got most of it back. We thought we were done, but we werenīt. We couldnīt pay the $135 per person directly to the guy at the consulate. We had to go to a specific credit bank and deposit it into the consulateīs account. He handed us a note to give to the bank, telling us to come back with two vouchers, then sent us on our weary way again. After a long wait at the bank, we were able to get rid of the wads of cash we had (itīs been a long time since Iīve seen a $100 bill), then took our two vouchers back to the consulate. And we thought we were done, haha. Ohhhhh nooooo! He took the vouchers, thanked us, then told us to come back at 1 PM to get our passports with visas attached.
It was 11:30, so we finally sat down and ate some breakfast. We were craving waffles, but ate some bread and coffee instead. After breakfast, we had some time left, so we bought bus tickets to La Paz for the following day, then headed back to the consulate. Again. The waiting room was starting to get a little more full, but we were still seen soon enough, got our passports with the visa sticker in place and thought we were done