An ascent to the Altiplano

Trip Start Feb 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 12, 2010

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, February 4, 2010

So after a great night that involved a dinner in a fancy restaurant with our new friend overlooking the centuries old cathedral of Arequipa we woke at 7 to get our bus to Puno. Outside the hotel (which was just opposite the tourist police station) we got in our taxi ordered by the receptionist and the policewoman from across the road ran across to inspect the taxi and told us that it was not adequate for us, this happened again with another taxi but finally we found one she approved of and got on our way to the bus station. At 8 we checked in our bags and had something to drink. Tito hoping for an espresso ordered a coffee and got Nescafe and I stuck with my new favourite caffeine rich drink Inka Cola. At 8.30 we got on our bus along with a quite a few other westerners and backpackers and we left on time for Puno. Rather quickly as we climbed the landscape changed from totally barren lunar like desert to one with a few shrubs then we saw the appearance of grass half way through and travelled through a completely Caledonian style bleak landscape with bare mountains with some moss and grass and huge lakes. As we arrived into Puno Tito tapped me on the shoulder all excited and exclaimed: ´look, a tree!´ Puno is a modern town on the shores of Lake Titicaca 3850 metres high (over 12,000 feet) and we got delivered to a pleasant hostel where we are sharing a living room with an Australian couple from Melbourne so we sat there chatting for a while and I´m sure that I bored Tito senseless about my tales from Australia. We went then to book our tickets to La Paz on the coach for 6th Feb and then had an explore of the town which has very few surviving colonial buildings. We ate very well in a Peruvian-Chinese restaurant cheaply and got rained on alot (here it seems to shine bright intense sunshine then pour intensely). We explored the cathedral and the town square before heading back to relax in our hostel. We like it so much here that we´ve decided to stay and extra night as we´ve been charmed by the receptionist who says that we speak great Spanish (with Argentinian accents) and look much older than we are!
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