Puno – a not so exiting city by an amazing lake.

Puno Travel Blog

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On the way to Puno.

Our bus just left Cuzco behind us when we made the first stop. Couple of minutes later the bus stopped again. Actually we didn’t drive for more then some 20-30 minutes until the next stop. Travelling this way it would take us ages to reach Puno. Obviously we were not the only ones who were unhappy with the current situation. Some of the Peruvian passengers started to protest loudly. And when we stopped again they stamped on the floor in “double surround”. At least that was the feeling I had. Of course we joined them, showed our solidarity and stamped as well. Suddenly, when the Peruvian passengers were becoming angrier and angrier the bus driver finally gave up his “ multiple stops attitude”. I guess he was afraid they would hang him on the next tree or something.

Dan's feet...

From then on the trip continued smoothly and we could just enjoy the great view we had from the front seats on the upper bus floor. The weather was nice a shiny and the incredibly blue sky ruled above the beautiful countryside below it. The mountains and the grass we passed seemed to change colours every hour, it was just amazing.

We were maybe half way when Pavel felt something strange touching his feet. He grabbed under his seat and there was a little young dog, a little puppy. It probably belonged to some of the passengers and was on a little exploring tour now. Really cute little thing. I used to have a dog but my cockerspaniel Jamy died 2 ½ years before this trip.

Dan fell asleep, hehe.
We made some pictures with the doggy and let it crawl around again. Before leaving it let us a little farewell present. It pooped next to Marian’s shoes. Of course the poop of such a small creature was tiny…but hey…regarding the smell it could compete with the big dogs. In this aspect it was a champion.

We passed some 2-3 poor looking towns until we discovered ahead of us a city located by the blue waters of a huge lake. It was Puno and the lake the famous Titicaca of course. At 3.860 meters above sea level it is the world’s highest navigable lake. The city itself has some 80.000 inhabitants and is squeezed between the shores of Lake Titicaca and the small mountains surrounding Puno. While entering we realized that many houses here were half-finished. The reason wasn’t the lack of construction materials but couldn’t be more prosaic.

There was a cute little dog in our bus.
The inhabitants let them be like that so they didn’t have to pay taxes for them.

When we stepped out of the bus and got our big backpacks a woman approached us calling our names. The guy in Cuzco who arranged for us the accommodation there and in Aguas Calientes, had called a friend of him to “help” us in Puno. I would say he probably helped more the lady then us, but fine. We agreed quickly on the price of the accommodation and she leaded us then to a taxi. She paid the ride, nice gesture.

The hotel (not a hostel) was located pretty centrally, will be easier for us to move around.

Little doggy...
Before we checked in the lady asked us if we didn’t want to join a tour on the Lake Titicaca . We were actually interested, but didn’t want to arrange it right then. Especially because Dan felt worse again and he had to get to bed.

Damn, we needed to get him something, some sort of medicine against the high altitude sickness. I asked at the reception if there was a pharmacy around and then me, Pavel and Marian got out into the streets of Puno. It didn’t take long and we found the pharmacy. The problem with the high altitude sickness, the “soroche”, is quite common in Peru , it’s not just the foreigners who have problems with it. The pharmacist offered us some red pills, I forgot the name, but it looked like they were the best you could get against soroche.

The train passing us...
Before going back to the hotel we bought also some bread and some water for Dan, wouldn’t be good if he took the pills on an empty stomach. We bought him enough pills for the next 7 days, he was supposed to take one every 8 hours. When I returned back into my and Dan’s room I found my friend with a pale face lying in the bed. I explained him about the pills and let him sleep. Me, Pavel and Marian were hungry and planned to go out to get some dinner. Soon we found nearby a nice looking café where we ordered some sandwiches.

It was already getting dark when we stepped out on the street again. Puno didn’t really seem to be a nice city but there were already some streets in the center adapted to the needs of foreign tourists. There were restaurants, bars and travel agencies with English speaking stuff.

On the way to Puno.
Here we used the chance to compare the prices for the 2 days tours on Lake Titicaca . Our main problem was the time of the return as we needed to catch the last bus direction Bolivia at 2pm. The border between Peru and Bolivia was closing at around 6pm and this bus was the last one which could pass it in time. Looked problematic to catch it, but we didn’t want to lose too much time in Puno. When we got back to our hotel soon the lady that arranged for us the accommodation appeared again. I told her that we were interested in the 2 days Titicaca tour, but we needed to be back by 1pm. She promised to arrange that, so we agreed. Knowing already the price from the tour agencies I tried to bargain her down a bit. Couldn’t go down too much, we were actually depending on this offer if we wanted to join this tour and to get to Bolivia the evening right after. Suddenly we agreed on everything…and to buy the tickets for 3 of us only.
On the way to Puno.
Dan wouldn’t manage to join us, he looked just too bad. He would have some rest and sleep a lot so he could recover until we would return back and continue the trip. There was still one thing to solve. As he would stay in a double room alone he would have to pay the double compared to staying there with me. But moving into another room was too much stress for him at the moment. After some discussion with the receptionist and the help of our guide lady we managed to convince them to leave Dan in our room by paying just the half of it. The receptionist even promised to have a look on him while we’re gone and to bring him some coca tea. Great, that made us feel much better.

That night we went to bed early, we were supposed to be picked up for the tour already at 8am. I was so looking forward to it,  the main reason was that included in the tour program was also a homestay by an Indio family on the island Amantani. Could there be something cooler then that?   

yadilitta says:
yes, I remember you told me how bad Dan was feeling, poor him...
Posted on: Feb 01, 2009
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On the way to Puno.
On the way to Puno.
Dans feet...
Dan's feet...
Dan fell asleep, hehe.
Dan fell asleep, hehe.
There was a cute little dog in our…
There was a cute little dog in ou…
Little doggy...
Little doggy...
The train passing us...
The train passing us...
On the way to Puno.
On the way to Puno.
On the way to Puno.
On the way to Puno.
Arriving in Puno.
Arriving in Puno.
Arriving in Puno.
Arriving in Puno.
Puno
photo by: lrecht