Lake Titicaca - world´s highest lake - 23-27 Oct
Trip Start Sep 09, 2010
46Trip End May 28, 2011
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Today I am off to Lake Titicaca - the world´s highest lake at just under 4,000 metres I believe. I am visiting the Puno, Peru side but you can also go there via Boliva..which is apparently better? An overnight bus leaving Cusco at 10pm gets me into Puno at 6am...I got picked up and taken to a nearby hostal where I had to wait until 8am to join my tour. I was shattered but they gave me breakfast and I could use the internet so the 2 hours went by quite quickly.
The weather was lovely and warm which is good because we spent quite a few hours on a boat sailing around the lake. First we went to Uros, the floating island where people live literally on an island made of reeds. It is quite touristy but I still found it fascinating. We then headed to Amantani and stayed overnight with a local family
In the late afternoon Justiniano took us up to the community´s football stadium and then all the people on the tour bar a few climbed up to the top of this big hill to watch the sunset. But we had to climb up to 4,100 metres which I found a bit of a struggle, although I did make it and made a climbing friend in a lovely lady called Dee, who is originally from England but has lived in Canada for 20 or so years. The sunset was spectacular well worth the effort of climbing up all that way. Coming back down was better but only just made it before it became pitch black.
After having tea prepared by the family we then got dressed in traditional peruvian clothes...not particuarly flattering but I couldn´t really refuse! We then went to the local disco...and spent the next hour dancing to music played by local young men on pan pipes...it was lovely way to end a great day.
Monday 25th October 2010
After breakfast and as we were about to leave the island, the family presented Willy, Linda and I with a garland made of local flowers...I can´t imagine living life as they do....no electricity or internet but they have lived like this for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years - a very simple existence but they seem very happy so who am I to judge
We then headed to another island Taquili - again we had to climb quite steeply to the top of the island and again Dee and I lagged behind, but we enjoyed chatting to each other about our lives. She was on holiday with her husband (English too) who she had married twice. A nice story - they got married early in their 20s but it didn´t work out. She then emigrated to Canada. She got back in touch with him when she was 40 and they got back together - ah! This island is famous for the 500 steps down to the lake which we had to walk to get our boat back to the mainland...we then had a 3 hour trip. The sun was blazing and I managed to burn my ears...never done that before. Got back to Puno at 4pm. The trip with Frank is further postponed as he still has not got his passport re-issued really not sure this is going to happen. So this means I won´t stay overnight in Puno and will get the bus back to Cusco. Have 4 hours to kills so spend it in an internet cafe and a restaurant that Dee recommended which was very nice and cosy and when I discovered a new version of pisco one that includes red wine and is warm, much like a mulled wine - delicious- I could become addicted....
My bus was scheduled to leave at 10pm, but as Willy and Linda mentioned their bus back to Cusco was leaving at 9pm, thought I´d head there early to try and catch up with them
Tuesday 26th October 2010
Managed to get a few hours sleep but then got up early to check my email to see if the trip with Frank was going ahead or not....still unsure but as I was checking so I met a girl called Katharina. She is German and travelling alone, she´s already been to India and Brazil. We ended up spending the day together she had just arrived from La Paz and wanted to book a trip to Machu Picchu. After MP she plans to go to Arequipa...I said I´d like to join her if the trip with Frank doesn´t come off.
Wednesday 27th October 2010
Trip with Frank is definitely off. He still has not got his passport and if and when he does the trip would be cut severely short and it would be more a case of just driving to these places rather then having any time there, so just no point. A shame but it means I can go to Arequipa with Katharina at the weekend.