Puno

Puno Travel Blog

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We were up early to get our bus to Lake Titicaca, across the Peruvian border and on to Puno. After some tearful goodbyes to Chad and Michelle we got our coach to Lake Titicaca with stunning views all around. We drove along the shores of the lake, to a ferry crossing where we got off the bus. We took a water taxi across whilst the coach went across on a barge, looking as if it was about to sink at any moment.  We were in Bellavista. Lake Titicaca (the world’s highest navigable lake I'm obliged to point out) is at 3800m high, and it was pretty chilly.

Our next stop was Copacabana, a quaint town on the shores of Titicaca with a huge Cathedral painted bright white and very little else.

We had lunch there and headed toward the border. We were checked out of Bolivia about 20 minutes later, after which we had to take all our bags and walk across a strange, 100 metre long no-man’s-land before being welcomed into Peru at immigration. The border crossing was fine, but we were a bit upset with the boring stamp in the passport, especially alongside the colourful ones in Chile and Bolivia!

We had just enough time for an ice cream (always enough time where Em’s concerned) before getting back on the bus to head to Puno.

Puno isn’t much to write home about. The outer streets are clearly quite poor amd run-down but the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral are quite picturesque and the main, pedestrianised street was lively and well-developed. The striking thing about Puno (and Peru in general) is how much better set-up for tourism it is than Bolivia. Everyone seems to be selling tours and we were approached all the time. Apart from the odd beggar and eager restauranteur, you can go about our business untroubled in Bolivia. Not so in Peru. We were swarmed by the shoe-shine kids, who made a tidy sum of cash from us lot. And once they smelled blood, all the kids in town seemed to grab a cloth and some polish and harangue us.

Ysabel had already sorted us out with somewhere to eat, and I tried my first typical Peruvian dish, Alpaca steak. It wasn’t too bad, quite tasty but a bit tougher than I was expecting. And of course, we were in Cusquena country.

 

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Puno
photo by: lrecht