Trip Start Mar 11, 2009
28Trip End May 06, 2009
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The bus ride up to Puno lifted my spirits greatly. Lima and Paracas had left a sort of "been there, done that" aftertaste in my mouth and had me worried that perhaps I had done just too much traveling in such a short time. But the moment we landed in Cuzco I felt it, that tingle of anticipation, of wanting to soak it all in.
Cuzco (Cusco) is the Inca capital of Peru
The bus from Cuzco to Puno took us through gorgeous green countryside littered with streams and dotted with mountains. A welcome contrast to the dusty desert roads to Paracas. Of course, the higher we climbed, the lower the temperature dropped and I was beginning to see the error in my ways in regards to what I decided to pack for this trip. Not feeling well, however, I welcomed the cool air.
Puno is a maze of streets just begging for you to get lost in them (and we did). Dusty markets offering cloth bags full of beans, spices, raw meat. I nearly tripped over a couple severed goat heads lying, bloody, on a cloth in the middle of the sidewalk. Children were running up to us wanting to shine our shoes for "1 sole!!" I handed the dirtiest one my cookies instead.
We went through a travel agent to book the next leg of the trip because of our time constraints
"What┤s with the bags??" joked the obnoxious Aussie (sorry Fiona, you┤ve said it yourself, traveling Australians are loud and obnoxious!) as Tammy and I hauled our heavy bags onto our shoulders and began to hike up an incredibly steep incline another 500+ meters into the sky.
"Ohhhh come closer," I thought to myself. "I can┤t move very fast with this thing on but come closer and say that again so I can punch you in the teeth." Considering he had nothing with him and was huffing and puffing more than us, I figured he┤d be smarter to keep quiet.
No one had told us that our village stay in Amantani would involve hiking and that maybe it would be best to leave our things behind at the hostel. "I┤m going to bitch slap Sylvester (our Puno guide) the next time I see him." I hissed to Tammy breathlessly
Being sick to start with (for the last few days even) I thought it was a miracle I made it up at all. Though I did consider lying in a crumpled heap at the base, weakly waving off any assistance and crying out through parched lips, "Save yourselves!" But, troopers that we are, we made it and managed to laugh about it too.
The village stay was a nice touch, the food was incredible and the people were so kind but the temperature drop and the violent storm that raged all night long left me awake and shivering for most of the night. I┤m all raccoon eyes today, sleeping away on the boat back to Puno while everyone else enjoyed the sun on the roof. Our visit to Isla Taquile was, quite frankly, irritating. It was cold, rainy and our guide stopped on steep inclines every ten minutes (just when you┤ve finally got a pace set) to explain something about the flora and fauna in both English and Spanish. And not just short bits of information, long drawn out explanations that left my toes and fingers numb and my patience thin. I hate to be cranky but I just wanted a hot drink and somewhere to sit.
Tomorrow we┤re back to Cuzco for the night and then on to Machu Picchu on Sunday. Hope all is well at home and that you┤re enjoying the irony of the fact that you were warmer than I was last night!
K & T