Thursday, April 14, 2005


Honeymoon Proper! Part 2 - Puno

Took the 9am bus from Arequipa to Puno, as I was feeling fit as a butcher's dog this morning. The scenery was lovely, in fact I was surprised to find it rather reminiscent of the Yorkshire Dales in parts (only more jagged, with occasional snow-capped mountains, and alpacas/llamas instead of sheep!). In other parts it was a bit like the Lake District, though with considerably less traffic and vacationing Americans! It was a very pleasant bus journey, and when we arrived behind schedule at 2:30pm we were extremely chuffed to find that we weren't too late for a jaunt to the Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca. After a quick lunch of alpaca steak and mashed potatoes (truly delicious, and no apparent danger of hospitalisation), we boarded a boat to the spongy reed Uros Islands with a bunch of assorted uncombed European tourists with 'interesting' glasses. It was really worth the trip, the islands float above 20 metres of water and the inhabitants do seem to maintain some kind of traditional lifestyle, despite the constant influx of goggling tourists. They make crafts to sell to the tourists, and live, work, and cook on the islands. The reeds the islands are made of are edible actually, so we noshed a crunchy reed and took various photos of the brown-skinned and ruddy-cheeked islanders in their colourful clothes, and us posing in foolish positions that we'll be proud to show our grandchildren. Towards the end it started to hail, and the boat ride back was freezing. Now we're back in Puno, waiting with cold feet for our bus to Cuzco... we've no time to stay the night due to our delay in Arequipa, Machu Picchu calls!

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