crazy protests and Lake Titicaca

Puno Travel Blog

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Our last night in La Paz, Trey and I decided to pull in all nighter becasue our bus was leaving at 7:30 in the morning! A group of Chileans stayed up and hung out with us until we left, which made the long night go a lot faster.  We left La Paz in the morning and headed to Puno, where we had planned to spend a night so that we could take the train to Cuzco the next morning.  The Peruvian and Bolivian border crossing was pretty funny.. Our bus pulled up to the border town and the driver walked back and told us that we had to get off the bus and walk accross the border because there was a massive street fair blocking the road.  After getting the exit stamp on our passports, we crossed the border, which consisted of a loose rope that hung accross the road, overlooked by a massive security force of about 2 people.. haha.  While in customs, i recognized someone that was standing near me.  As it turns out, it was another guy from my university that i had met randomly in Mendoza, Argentina about 3 months back....  small world i guess. 

After waiting for about an hour, the police managed to clear the road for our bus and we continued on. Our bus followed the cost line of Lake Titicaca, which as all of us learned in primary school, is the highest lake in the world.  Although many tourists decide to stop and visit the lakeĀ“s islands, we were totally content with the views we had from the bus.  About 6 hours after we got on the bus in La Paz, we had arrived to Puno.  We got off the bus and started asking around to see how we could get to the town center.  A taxi driver was about to tell us, but before we got in the taxi, he told us that the following day there would be a transportation strike and that it would be impossible to leave Puno for a couple days.  After finding this out, we realized that we couldnt spend the night cuz there would be no train in the morning.. so we headed into the bus station and purchased tickets to Cuzco for that same day.  After a short wait and a quick call to a hostel in Cuzco, we were on the road again.

We soon found out that the transportation portest was ocurring at the same time as an eduaction protest.  All of a sudden, we felt the road get very bumpy, and we looked out to see giant rocks spread all over the road!! After asking someone, we found out that the underpayed teachers were protesting by throwing rocks all over the roads to make driving them almost impossible.  Luckily, because the protest had just stated, we got through it.  I also found out that later that night, people started blocking roads and burning tires in the streets.  We missed all of this by just a couple of hours!!

At 11 PM, we arrived to Cuzco, Peru, one of the most popular destinations in the Latin world for its history and proximity to the famous Machu Pichu ruins. 

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photo by: lrecht