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Published: September 23rd 2018
Still in La Paz waiting to meet our new companions for the final leg of our G Adventures trip we decided to head out to El Alto with Tom from the Brazil & Bolivia trip & a guide.
A bus ride and two cable cars later we were in El Alto. We then picked up a taxi and went round the area.
El Alto is where the airport is for La Paz is, an ever expanding city on the alto Plano or the flat lands. Getting around by taxi was interesting given the horrible traffic, old and defunct vehicles - many of which come from India & China when they have finished with them!! - and subsequent fumes. But get around we did!
We were taken to a goup of high rise flats on the outskirts of El Alto which looked amazing in design but were so far out of the town that no one really wanted to live there, they were only half full & it was pretty desolate. Sue then noticed that Tom had deliberately not brought his camera. Then we visited 2 ‘Cholets’- newer buildings more garish and flash in design which housed dance halls
and a balcony over 2 floors and then apartments above with the top floor penthouse reserved for the owner. When we went the cleaners were in the day after a wedding party at the venue ($1000 a day) and the mess and crates of empty bottles was incredible. They clearly know how to party.
The following day we visited Tiwanaku pre Inca ruins - amazing to think that this civilisation built such incredible buildings so many years ago.
A full day bus journey with our new group ( comprised of mainly English and Australian with one token French Canadian) across the border to Puna. We broke the journey with a stop for lunch in Copacabana where we left the group and found a bar over looking the sea. There we sat and chatted with a young couple Rob and Livvie who were also on a long trip before setting off in different directions,
The following morning we were met by a goup of cyclists who transported us to the harbour to set off across Lake Titicaca - the highest navigable lake in the world. And as we crossed the lake in the groups motor boat you could
appreciate the vast expanse, the mountains in the distance and the effect of sun at altitude- I got a little red again.
During the day we visited a floating island no larger than a basketball pitch made entirely out of reeds. Incredibly the family living in reed huts also had a solar panel and a TV! Apparently it is possible to construct an island in about a year and because it is a ‘floating’ island they can move their island to another part of the lake when they want.
Two hours later we were on Taquile island for lunch before heading onwards to our night in a family homestead on a peninsula 90 minutes from Puno.
We were met by a small group of musicians who marched with us up the hill to meet our homestay families. We stayed with Joanna and Delphin with their three children Freddie, Aldo and Linda - the cutest little 4 year old you are likely to meet.
First a game of football against local lads a third my age and who were comfortable with the altitude - given this we were happy to last 25 minutes and only lose 2-0
a we had the chances but the shooting boots weren’t working. This was then followed by dressing us up in local dance costumes and then trying to copy their moves - not a pretty sight!
The evening saw us split up into our family houses where we ate with the family who were very nice but we couldn’t speak Aymara, they couldn’t speak English and my Spanish wasn’t good enough to engage for long. It was therefore an early night for us.
Early morning chores then a walk up the peninsula before heading back to Puno where incredibly there was another festival with bands and dancers which started about 6.00 and I’m not sure it’s finished yet.
We ducked out of another group meal and found a bar where we again bumped into the couple we had met in Copacabana
Incas - small world. As an aside rob has his own you tube channel and is vlogging his journey - look up Rob Dymott. One slice of apple pie and a few beers were enough for us that evening, too many meals!
Lake Titicaca done, tomorrow a 7 hour journey to Cusco and our trek to
Worlds highest football ground
Apparently Bolivia beat everyone when playing at La Paz or El Alto
Machu Picchu looming on Wednesday, hope the legs and lungs work well enough to make it to the top.
Adios Amigos and wish us luck.
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