Published: May 5th 2012May 5th 2012
Since our last blog we have travelled a bit but have struggled to get good internet connection AND a computer that will allow us to download pictures. Apologies for lack of pics but we will upload as soon as poss!
PUNO - floating islands
We arrived here (still in Peru btw) from the excitment of the jungle and stayed in Puno city centre which was an average sort of place - nothing to write home about. We had booked a tour to the floating islands (Uros) the next morning and paid for our coach to Copacobana in Bolivia.
We got picked up and taken to the shores of the lake which is stunning and MASSIVE. Hard to believe it is a lake, rather than a small sea... We hopped on a boat and headed for the floating islands with our tour group. We paid 25 peruvian for the pleasure (6 GBP) so not bad! We learnt how to say hello in the Quechuan language and motored up the "river" made possible by a channel of reeds either side. We eventually pitched up to our first floating island and where greeted by the lady President of this island who was decked out in typical Peruvian dress. They made us eat the reeds that make up their floating islands and showed us how they lived on them with a little tour of their home. It was very interesting, however, we were slightly put off by the solar panels that were everywhere along with televisions, radios and all sorts of modern tech - courtesy of tourism. We were put onto their amazing reed boat but had to pay for the pleasure once we set sail and visited the school and church etc...The kids were then told to sing to us to earn more money and they managed to sing two rugby songs!!! Tash was impressed... IN all, a good experience but totally commercialised and made up for tourism which spoilt the charm of the place for us really but glad we went...
COPACOBANA - Isla De Sol
We had met up with a couple of Kiwi people who we travelled here with and managed to pick up a random Austrian guy so when we arrived we all hiked up to our hostel Utama and then had dinner at the highly recommended La Cupala... It was lovely except for the fact that Tash had trout which tasted like MUD. Tracys on the other hand was delicious... So be warned, dont go for the stuffed trout - it actually means Mud trout! Yuk.
The next day we got up to get the boat to the Isle De Sol which we knew little about except for a few recommendations from various people at home and here. Chris the Austrian who we likened to a mountain goat (loved climbing, knew ALL of the mountains in the region and fit as a fiddle) filled us in on all the info we needed. We expected the boat journey to be an hour and a half to Yumani (the south of the island) but two and half hours later, freezing our bits off, we actually ended up in the north of the island... A little bit of entertainment for the Dendamonde rugby girls, we came up with two more quality name jokes:
What do you call a doctor who puts botox into lips..... Phillip
What do you call a man who has lost his car..... Carlos.
Anywhere in the world, someone always tries to trump you! So we arrived at the stunning isle de sol with crystal clear blue waters, albeit freezing. We visited a couple of the Inca sites and Trace and I decided to make the trek along the ridge to our hostel which Chris had recommended - Palla Khassa. The views were phenomenal on both sides with views of the 2nd highest mountain in Bolivia in the background - Illumpu. We were at 4032m above sea level by the way! PUFFED OUT! We guessed it would take 2 hours to walk the ridge, it would have done had we followed the path and decided against taking what we thought was a short cut!!!!! We found ourselves amongst farmers fields, totally lost with nothing but a mango and half a bottle of water between us (Den, Kel, Nat - remind you of anything??). After losing our sense of humour, we decided to follow the locals advice to go back up to the ridge and funnily enough, there was our lovely, beautiful, much needed hostel... We celebrated in style with a beer that we had actually carried from Peru! Doh! We met up with the kiwi girl and chris again and watched the lovely sunset before having a delicious dinner and wine! Paradise in the cold!!
Next day we were heading to LA Paz - the crazy capital of Bolivia....