Puno, and Altitude for the First Time...


Advertisement
Peru's flag
South America » Peru » Puno » Puno
September 23rd 2012
Published: October 15th 2012
Edit Blog Post

Lake Titicaca!Lake Titicaca!Lake Titicaca!

My first glimpse, amazing...
September 23rd, 2012

Elevation 3830m, 12565ft




After getting all the formalities out of the way in Lima it was now time to begin the adventures with a quick flight from Lima to Juliaca, and then on to our first stop: Puno! Gateway to Lake Titicaca, we would have three days to explore the region, including visiting the floating reed islands of Uros, the island of Taquile and a homestay with a local family, couldn't wait!

Landed in Juliaca to a beautiful day, mindful that this was my first time in altitude and certainly curious as to how I was going to react...I opted not to take any altitude medication, bit of a risk but wanted to see if I could handle it on my own without the aid of pills, and for the most part I was fine...

Hopped in a bus and made our escape from Juliaca (commonly referred to as the armpit of Peru, seems to have also been voted the ugliest town in the country...didn't look all that bad to me, although nothing pretty about it either....). Great ride; big, blue sky set against a rugged brown landscape, fantastic...after a little
Moi...Moi...Moi...

...with Titicaca and Puno in the background...
over an hour we crested a hill and there it was, the mythical Lake Titicaca! Several places around the world have always held these mythical or iconic visions in my head; I have been fortunate to visit some of them and it is always magical to come upon them and see them for the first time...and it sure didn't disappoint! The bus pulled over so we could get some pics of Titicaca and also Puno that stretched out in the valley below from where we were standing...magnificent! Took our first of many group photos here as well, not a bad start with Titicaca in the background...haha...

Made it to the hotel and checked in...no obvious signs of altitude issues to this point but when I was going up to my room on the second floor I was completely out of breath at the top of the stairs, couldn't believe it! Then I thought to myself: "Holy crap, I'm starting the Inca Trail in five days, I'm screwed!". Decided to wait and see how I would adapt to the altitude before launching into full blown panic...haha...

Once settled the gang headed out to explore the town, had the better
More Tuk-Tuks...More Tuk-Tuks...More Tuk-Tuks...

...love it!
part of the day to poke around...Nice place, had some cool shops and restaurants on a pedestrian only street and the local Plaza de Armas was quaint and pleasant. On our travels that day we passed a closed street with a big volleyball game going on, bought some fruit off a street vendor, and had a bite to eat in this local hole-in-the-wall (tried Inca Cola for the first time...tastes like Cream Soda, good but a little sweet for my tastes)...We then had to hit the local market to get some gifts/supplies for our homestay family, and after a bit of advice from our guide Ruben we were turned loose on the mercado...picked up some essentials like rice, sugar, milk, pasta, candles etc., and it was funny comparing prices obtained with the fellow travelers, think we sadly got the worst deals! All fun though, and in our later travels we picked up a colouring book and some colour pencils in case there were children at the homestay...

Altitude effects #2: The pedestrian only street had a slight incline to it, and all the muscles in my legs were absolutely burning as we walked, again a little concerned about the
The GangThe GangThe Gang

Our first group shot, with Titicaca in the background...great group of folks...
big hike starting at the end of the week...lol...

After lunch Dominik and I decided to keep exploring so slowly made our way down to the lake's edge...again a cool town, more volleyball matches in the roads (it was Sunday, must be a weekly event), fun mototaxis (or tuk-tuks as I always revert back to calling them) all decked out with funky and sometimes wacky accessories (Batman inspired themes seemed to be big, fantastic...haha...) and now had a taste of how friendly the folks are in Peru, loved it...ended up near a pond with people cruising around in swan and duck themed paddle boats, snapped some pics and decided to head back to the ranch...

The walk to the lake had all been downhill, and with dusk setting in I was like "Screw it, let's grab a tuk-tuk back" and so we did...love doing this on my travels, can't get enough of this form of transportation for some reason...plus I didn't want to walk uphill all that way, probably wouldn't have made it! Haha...

Quiet night, went out for coffee and a snack...we were heading out on the Lake to visit a couple of places (and do
Arrived!Arrived!Arrived!

The adventure begins...
our homestay) the following morning so everyone wanted to be well rested and fresh for that...we would return to Puno after the homestay for another half day in which we would visit the Cathedral in Plaza de Armas (beautiful) and have a great dinner (my first Alpaca steak, fantastico!) at this crazy dinner theatre place that featured local dancing and music, very fun...


Additional photos below
Photos: 36, Displayed: 25


Advertisement

JuliacaJuliaca
Juliaca

Doesn't look too bad, apparently it gets worse at night...
Ruben!Ruben!
Ruben!

Our illustrious guide, on the way to Puno...
On the way to PunoOn the way to Puno
On the way to Puno

Beautiful...
Anchor on the HillAnchor on the Hill
Anchor on the Hill

No idea, thought it was cool though...
VW BugVW Bug
VW Bug

Cool...


Tot: 0.045s; Tpl: 0.023s; cc: 13; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0083s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb