Cusco to Puno.. Lake Titicaca

Trip Start Feb 04, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  , La Paz Department,
Sunday, March 17, 2013

I left Cusco early to head to Puno on a tour bus called Inca express. The bus takes most of the day but stops at tourist sites along the way. Our first stop was to the church Andahuaylillas which is like a mini Sistine chapel. The interior walls and ceiling were covered with paintings from the 15th century and the alter and back wall were all made of gold. Really beautiful place and was located in such a small town. The bus then took us to some ancient Inca ruins of Raqchi. There stood the one centre support wall of a huge temple, made of rocks and mud, that the Incas used for sacred ceremonies. The famous Inca leader Pachacutec was suppose to have stayed there for his holidays. Surrounding the temple were a lot of small houses and storage huts all made of volcanic rocks from a nearby volcano. We then had lunch and headed up to La Raya at 4338m above sea level for some photos and to see the massive mountains surrounding it. Our last stop before Puno was to a archeological museum in Pukara. It had a lot of artifacts from the Inca's including pottery and tools from as old as 200BC and even mummies which were pretty well intact. I go to Puno that night and went out for dinner with some friends I met on the trip.

The next day I took a boat trip out to Uros, the floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca. Pretty amazing feeling walking on them as they moved with the waves of the boats. Not good to live on if you get motion sick. The whole island and everything on it, houses, beds, & boats were all made of reeds. It all floats on this light lake mud tied together with criss crossed reeds on top. The residents even eat the reeds used to build the island. They're not very big islands, you could walk around it in about a minute. I took a ride on their reed boat to the next island and back. Then we left to our next stop, Taquile island which is an actual island in the middle of the lake. There we followed the path around the island where we could see both Peru and Bolivia sides of the lake. At the plaza on the island we saw their knitting men and met local kids then we had lunch at the top of the island before taking to slow 3hr boat trip back. I went out to dinner again that night to a Peruvian restaurant with same friends I met on the bus trip. We had guinea pig and alpaca for dinner. Yum
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