Monday, 9 January 2012

Up, down and up again



After 35 nights in Cusco I left!

Now, there are plenty of things to do in and around Cusco

  • Machu Picchu

  • the sacred valley sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo among others

  • Saqsaywaman

  • various museums and churches

Would you care to guess how many of these places I went to? That's right ZERO!!

I’ve already been to all of the above places before and my sightseeing batteries were drained. Instead, at night I barflyed at Norton Rat's Tavern (they had ashtrays on the bar) and during the day I lounged around or sat in of the squares watching people and clouds go by.

Life was easy and relaxing, just what I needed

On Christmas day I “skyped” with my always delightful family. Turns out I got a tax rebate from 5 years ago. The following week I spent it! It is a lovely woven wall hanging.

On Monday 9th of January I got on a bus to Puno and I was glad I got a big boy seat. The eight hour ride seemed at lot longer!!

Checking into my hotel I immediately arranged for a boat tour of lake Titicaca for the following day. In the morning the traffic woke me up 45 minutes before my alarm had to.....

Leaving the Port of Puno the boat headed out onto the waters of lake Titicaca. The sky was blue, the clouds white and fluffy and the sun was shinning (mind you at 3800masl it was UV intense).

The 1st stop was the famous “floating islands of the Uros people”. Around 70 floating islands made of reed roots are home to about 2000 people. It was interesting to see but it did feel slightly like a human zoo.

We spent about an hour there before heading out into the middle of the lake and the island of Taquila. It took about 2 hours to get there, which I spent sitting on the stern of the boat gazing out across the waters.

The island of Taquila rises steeply out of the water and every inch of land that can be terraced has been. It was a slow walk up the path towards the centre of the island, a locals home and an excellent trout lunch. They also laid on some entertainment in the form of traditional dancing (thankfully I wasn't asked to join in).

After lunch we walked uphill to the “town” square which had amazing views of the lake and the snow capped mountains on the distant Bolivian shore. Then it was a downhill walk to the other side of the island and the waiting boat. Back on board I had a wonderful 3 hour cruise back to Puno.

The next afternoon I went on a tour to Sillustani. Upon a hill overlooking Umago lake are several Inca and pre Inca funerary towers which once held the mummified remains of the posh people. The views across the landscape were epic!

On Thursday the 12th of January I caught the 07:30 bus for the 3 hour ride along the shore line of lake Titicaca to the Bolivian border and the town of Copacabana.

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