Trips

Lake Titicaca

Yesterday we drove from Cusco to Puno and didn’t experience any particular difficulty. The drive was in fact pleasant, through mostly farmland then high-altitude landscapes. Again we found ourselves at over 4300 m, before gradually descending to Puno at over 3800 m and lake Titicaca. About 50 km before Puno we had to drive through the city of Juliaca. For some reason the name sounded nice to me but it is nothing but nice. Juliaca is an industrial and commercial city as ugly as it gets. It is a jungle of neglected streets, unfinished buildings, dirt, and trash on a scale we hadn’t seen before. The main road was under construction and the GPS tried to route us around through small streets with all sorts of vehicles fighting their way forward, from construction trucks to tuc-tucs. No need to say that it was a major relief once we were out of the city, out of the smelly mess, and back on a “normal” road. Thank God we had not planned to stop in Juliaca. Puno is more pleasant, nothing to write home about, but relatively clean and organized. We safely parked the truck in a hotel parking lot, where we are staying two nights. Today we had a morning tour to the floating islands of the Uros people on lake Titicaca. The visit was colourful and interesting. We learned how the islands are constructed, and why people started living this way, basically to flee the Spanish invaders. The weather cooperated nicely with a generous dose of sunshine, against the weather forecast. Tomorrow we will start early in the hope of driving out of Peru and back into Chile. The original plan was to go back into Bolivia to do the salar de Uyuni. Unfortunately the political situation and civil unrest in Bolivia is making it difficult and risky to travel to at the moment and we decided to avoid it. Chile is going through some difficult time as well but it is a more advanced country and we feel it is the safer route back to Argentina. Once in Argentina we will pretty much resume our planned route, and explore the north of the country, slowly making our way south, back to Mendoza.

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