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Published: June 19th 2015
We arrived at the bus station as told at 8.10 am and were hustled onto the bus. It was full - seemed like everyone else had been told 7.30am Good start!
We climbed steeply out of La Paz to the rim and were soon back on the altiplano
Eventually we reached the shore of Lake Titicaca, being at an altitude of 3,980 metres it's the highest navigable lake in the world. It was huge, resembled an ocean rather than a lake and was a most amazing shade of deep blue.
At one point we were all ushered off the bus and loaded onto a small boat to cross a narrow part of the lake. The bus was loaded precariously onto a floating platform and drifted across along side us, I feared for my luggage!
Once safely back on dry land we all piled back onto the bus.
An hour later, still following the shore of the lake, we arrived in Copacabana, a cute little town on the shore of the Lake. We dropped our bags off at the bus office and went off in search for lunch. After lunch we trekked up to the top of a
hill overlooking the town and lake. The views were stunning, with the blue lake reflecting the cloudless sky above and snow covered mountains completing the picture.
The climb had been tough to say the least, it was so steep that after every three or four steps we had to stop to catch our breath. By the time we were at the top we must have been over 4,000 metres high and the air was extremely thin!
We sat soaking up the warm sunshine and drinking in the view before punishing our knees on the steep climb back down.
At 6pm we boarded the bus for our next leg of the journey to Puno. This involved crossing the border into Peru which meant filling in yet more immigration forms ( that no-one ever looks at) getting stamped out of Bolivia, walking 100 metres over the border and getting stamped into Peru. At last we were on our way again just as the sun was setting giving us a wonderful sunset over the lake!
We arrived at Puno bus station at 8.30pm. We had 5 jobs to do - arrange a bus to Arequipa for Thursday,
find an ATM to get local currency, find a hostel, book a tour for the floating islands tomorrow and get a meal.
After some hassle we got the bus booked for Thursday then showed the address of a hostel in Puno to a taxi driver and we were on our way.
He dropped us off on a corner and pointed up a pedestrianised road. We located the address but it was all shuttered up and no-one answered when we rang the bell. By now it was gone 9.30 and was getting very cold, we needed a bed for the night! We gave up and went in search of another somewhere else. The first one we tried turned us away so we enquired at a dodgy looking place with an equally dodgy name - Mystique Hostal.
The owner turned out to be really nice, he showed us 3 clean, comfortable rooms to choose from and said he could arrange a trip for us tomorrow even though it was already late by now. We instantly checked in. He pointed us in the direction of an ATM and restaurants and not once hassled us for any money ( good
job as we had none at time of check in!) It just goes to show you can't always judge a book by it's cover!
We went out for a meal and dropped into bed just before midnight. We were being picked up at 6.30am next day. Groan!
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