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July 13th 2009
Published: July 15th 2009
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Ferry CrossingFerry CrossingFerry Crossing

Our bus boarding the ferry en route to Puno from La Paz.
Now in Puno, Peru on the shores of Lake Titicaca which might be the highest navigable lake in the world. The altitude here is ~3800m. The journey from La Paz includes a crossing of Lake Titicaca where the bus goes separately from the passengers, a minibus ride from Copacabana to the border, a 100m walk across the border into Peru - which is in a different time zone, so that walk sets the time back one hour, then a different bus to Puno - which doesn't leave until it's full. All of that takes about 8 hours for a journey of less than 300km, this is not the continent to rush around in.
Puno itself is an OK town, but for some reason the centre is built about 1km from the lakeshore. We took a lake trip to the Uros floating islands and Taquilla Island. Both are interesting but the whole thing is very commercialized, the Uros people supposedly live by trading / bartering with people from other islands and the mainland, yet charge P$10 (~US$3.5) to ride a short distance in one of their traditional reed boats. It was worth doing but won't be on our highlight list.
We also took a trip to Sillustani, about 40km outside town. This is a pre-Inca burial site and is an interesting place in its own right. It also overlooks a beautiful laguna and was home to a herd of sheep and alpaca while we were there, the Alpaca made Atsuko's day - she even felt guillty about having had it for dinner the night before :-) Again though the trip was commercialized by a stop at a "traditional" family home on the way back.
Talking of dineer we also tried guinea pig, it was awful - no meat (so we have no idea what it tastes like), tough skin, and lots of bones. For sure they make better pets then meals.
Next we're off to Arequipa to do some hiking in the canyons, after a few weeks without serious exercise I expect it'll hurt.

Additional photos below
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Floating islands.

In the approaches to Puno.
Lake Umayo, SillustaniLake Umayo, Sillustani
Lake Umayo, Sillustani

Atsuko with the beautiful Lake Umayo behind.

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