Lake Titicaca

Published: October 11th 2010
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The morning after we arrived back to Cusco from the Inca Trail, Conny, Jennie and I got up early (again!) to travel to Puno, a city on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. Puno is not an exciting place but it does have restaurants, so of course we partook of some Lake Titicaca trout and pisco sours. The next day, we went on a trip to the reed islands on Lake Titicaca. These were pretty fascinating. We had a demonstration from a reed resident on how the islands are manmade. Then a local lady invited me to see her reed house (very small, but did have a TV - not made of reeds), and dressed me up in her traditional gear. Then of course I felt I had to buy something. Everything was supposedly made there on the islands but looked identical to all the other tourist souvenirs you can buy in Peru (which are 95% the same as the ones you can buy in Bolivia but more expensive). Anyway, I bought a Pachamama (Mother Earth) cushion cover.

After lunch, we caught a bus for the relatively short journey to Copacabana on the Bolivian side of the lake. I'd been trying to meet up with Ali, who I'd originally met at school in BA, since we were in Cusco, but failed. Who was on the bus?

The next day I decided to meet Ali on the Isla Del Sol while Conny and Jennie chilled out and planned to meet them the next day. I hadn't been able to contact Ali so it was only by sheer luck that I rocked up at one of the ports at the exact moment that Ali was passing by. She was with a few young gels from England and we planned to hang out in Challapampa that evening. Ali and I went for a walk/clamber to the end of the island with a bottle of wine to watch the sun go down. It was great, but a bit treacherous on the way back after the sun had gone down. We had brought torches with us, but mine had run out of battery and Ali's was a book reading light. We made it! It was FREEZING on the island at night - it is at 3811m above sea level - so we spent a lot of the evening sitting in beds drinking rum and coke and wine (not all in the same glass). We'd heard there was some religious festival/street party at midnight so the others went out to join in - I was too tired and cold.

In the morning, the girls went off on an early boat back to the mainland and I met Conny and Jennie off theirs. We bought fried egg sandwiches for (second) breakfast and started the walk across the island. This proved hard-going as we were still knackered from the Inca Trail, we were pretty high up, and the direction we were going in was pretty much all uphill. It wasn't a long walk though, and there were spectacular views. The island itself looked kind of scrubby like a Greek island, the lake was a gorgeous blue, and in the distance you could see snowy mountains. Stunning! I think we must have had some more trout for lunch and then headed back to Copacabana.

Against my better judgement, I decided to return to somewhere I'd already been and join Conny and Jennie in La Paz. I'm glad I did because I was able to see Ali again for a drink and then meet my ladies for a lovely dinner. At this point I was in need of some new things (batteries, bras, etc) and I knew where to find them all in La Paz. I also purchased a beautiful embroidered belt at the extortionate price of £9 (90 bolivianos). We went for one last yummy dinner - accompanied by some Chilean wine - in a beautiful restaurant and then said our goodbyes. Boo!

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