Published: January 30th 2009January 29th 2009
So rose nice and early as we needed to get ourselves across the border to Peru. I had heard stories of hassels, Border officials asking for bribes and all kinds of bullsh*t so was a little apprehensive of the ordeal we faced.
But after jumping on a micro full of locals, goats and all kinds of cargo we arrived at the border town of Kasani, getting stamped out of Bolivia was straight forward, trotted 200m through ´No mans land´ to the Perivian post and was stamped in with absolutly no problem at all.....Don´t know what all the fuss was about!!!.
Nic - The only challenge that faced us now was somehow getting to Puno, 3hrs away! Luck must´ve been on our side this day and as if by magic a tourist bus was waiting for it´s last few passengers before leaving for Puno! So, after bargaining the driver down to a very good price we jumped on and into the only 2 spare seats..:Vamos!
An uneventful journey and we arrived at Puno, a busy town on the other side of Lake Titicaca. We tramped the 2km into town (Still haven´t given in to taxi´s just yet!)
and hunted around for a place to stay.....Not a problem we thought, especially as it´s off season!
The first Guesthouse that we called into seemed lovely, and we thought we´d struck gold....Amazing room, telly, ensuite (with hot water...a rareity here!) carpeted, with heater and including a feast of a breakfast, not to mention the free internet....and all for 20Soles (about GBP5!) ¨Wow, they really do drop their rates off season¨we thought and began to unpack.....until suddenly it hit home that we´d been quoted Dollars and not Soles ($ and not S) !!!! Eeeeeekkkk, we sheepishly grabbed our stuff and trotted off with our tales between our legs!.....Which led us to a hostel far more up our street...¨The haunted¨hostal!
The hostal that we could afford was a huge maze of rooms, 5 stories each with about 20 rooms.......and no one else staying there! However...Some of the rooms were left open and it was slightly odd that we kept hearing footsteps scurring down the corridoors and doors banging shut, the curtains from one room even appeared on a bannister one morning and our hallway light was mysteriously switched off.........and not a sole to be seen! It really was like the
film "The Others".
Dan - The main reason to visit here was to check out the Islands that are a few Km from the shore. Being tight on time we were only able to visit the closest set of islands, these however are the most unique!
´Islas Flotantes´ The floating Islands to you and I, how do they float you ask? well centuries back during the Inca times the Uros tribes built these Islands from the reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake, in order to isolate themselves from the aggressive Colla & Inca people. They are built using layers of these reeds and are up to 4m deep. These days the people still exist and make ends meet from the tourists that visit them.
Nic - We did feel a little sheepish visiting these people and gawking at their houses boats and lives, but their existance and these floating islands is something that is totally unique to this area and we wanted to visit to get a better understanding of how they live.
From here we´ll be jumping on yet another bus and working our way up to the piste de resistance of
South America, the Inca ruins of Machu Piccu.
There are more photos below