Our final day in Peru
Trip Start Oct 16, 2012
136Trip End Apr 20, 2013
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It took us over half an hour to get out of the town, as the traffic was so bad. It seemed unusual, because it was Sunday morning and the streets were packed with tuc-tucs and buses. The speed wouldn't have been slower if we had been in an organised parade.
We had read in a couple of blogs that other cyclists had the wind behind them and had easily managed 150km days. We on the other hand, had the wind in our faces and really had to work hard to keep up a good pace. It took us far longer than we had hoped to get to Puno, which was only 40km away and by the time we got there, we were starving! We cycled around the city, on the by-pass and saw lots of restaurants but they were all closed. We pulled up by the side of the lake and tucked in to some more oatmeal and apple, as we couldn't be bothered to set up the stove to cook pasta.
Lake Titicaca is the largest high-altitude lake in the world, sitting on an altiplano at 3800m above sea level. It covers 8400 square kilometers and sits between the borders of Peru and Bolivia. We had our first glimpses of it today, as we arrived into Puno. We could just make out snow covered mountains on the other sides of the lake but the crystal clear waters seemed to continue on forever
After another hour, we finally saw a restaurant that was open and the food that was cooking smelt good. That is saying something, we rarely encounter much odour with Peruvian cooking, with the bland rice and chicken diet. I asked her what was cooking and she said grilled trout, with a herb crumb. Sold! We ordered two and they were delicious.
We continued to cycle along the side of the lake, towards our destination of Juli. Thankfully the wind had died down enough for us to make up a much better pace and we were able to cover the 130km to the town, in 7 hours on the bikes. In the last two days we have done our second and third longest days on the trip so far, and covered almost 500km since leaving Cusco 4 days ago. Compared to our time in the mountains we were flying and couldn't believe how quickly we were moving across the map.
We easily found a hotel to stay in, which overlooked the main square of the town and had views on to Lake Titicaca. We then went out for our last Peruvian dinner and wondered what Bolivia has in store for us. We wondered what we would miss about Peru and what we would be excited to discover across the border tomorrow.