All action crossing to Peru

Cusco Travel Blog

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After the prison visit mentioned in my last update, I have travelled from La Paz to Lake Titicaca, across the border to Puno in Peru and on to Cuzco, the base for going on the Inca trail on the 27th.

Back in La Paz, I went on the famous World's Most Dangerous Road, starting at La Cumbre (4700m above sea level and about 50km from the capital) and finishing at Yolosa, a small village at 1200m above sea level. The first hour was on the main asphalt road down, then we had to climb gently for an hour before reaching the beginning of the fun part. A new road has taken away all the bus and lorry traffic, so the only dangers are lack of concentration, other cyclists and support vans for the many tour companies that take people down the road. At times the road is only 3 metres wide and there are waterfalls that might make you slip and go over one of the precipices (one is 700m high, others only 400m). Despite the dangers, I tried to use my brakes as little as possible to get some speed up. It was so much fun that often I didn´t want to stop to take photos, or eat a snack. After we finished, we were treated to lunch in a hotel overlooking Coroico, a hillside town at 1800m,and then went back up the road in the support van!

After a rest day in La Paz, I went to Copacabana, a town on the shore of Lake Titicaca. Spent a day looking around there, the highlight being the moorish cathedral, and then the next day got the boat over to Isla del Sol, an island on the lake where one of the inca creation myths comes from. We walked from the north end of the island down to the south and then spent another evening watching impressive lightning storm over the lake, as we had in Copacabana.

Yesterday took the boat back to the mainland and went by bus to Puno in Peru, a journey not without it´s share of difficulties because the tour company sold us tickets but without a reservation and the bus conductor wouldn't let us on. Eventually took a minivan taxi to the border and then a coach from there.

In Puno, which in the outskirts is probably not the most beautiful town I ever saw, we went to a museum of the MS Yavari, a boat built in England and shipped in pieces to Arica (now Chile, formerly Peru) and carried across the Andes to Lake Titicaca by mules. The short video they showed us was presented by a younger looking Michael Palin, one of his trips around the world. Then we had dinner in town centre, which is rather more attractive with lots of restaurants and bars to choose from.

The bus journey to Cuzco should have only lasted 8 hours, but it sounded like they changed a tyre during the night and so we were on the bus for 14 hours in all!

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photo by: Vlindeke