Long train ride and Islas Flotatas

Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Hey hey :o)

Had to leave Cusco at 8am on Saturday morning on the train to Puno and nearly didnt make it - I got in at 3.30am and assumed Jenna had set an alarm so rather than waking everyone up by rummaging in my bag i just went to sleep. Well she hadnt! Oops! Luckily I woke up at 6.55am, and thinking it seemed latish got out of bed to discover the time - we had a taxi booked for 7am! Eep! Luckily i was pretty much packed but Jenna wasnt so a mad rush ensued as we threw stuff into bags adn then ran downstairs to check out. Still we were mega quick so made it to the station for 7.30am fine :o)

The train to Puno was really nice, its much longer than the bus (10 hrs instead of 6) and a bit more expensive but the secenery is amazing and its really good being able to walk
around (especially after only 3 hours sleep...). The train left at 8am and backpacker class was fairly empty so we were able to spread out and have a table to ourselves. We had bought some food for the journey but at 10am the waitress came around offering a lunch menu so we decided to splash out - US$15!!! Thats 3 times my nights accomodation here :oS still it was really good - we got a Pisco Sour mid-morning (hair of the dog, did wonders for my slight hangover), a three course lunch with tea, and afternoon tea (sandwichs and cake). The journey went fine, slept a bit, did some puzzles (i have a book of crosswords etc), listened to Ipod, and looked at the cool views of the mountains.  We arrived in Puno at 6pm having had some cool views if the lake from the train. Being savvy Lonely Planet carrying travellers, we ignored all the people offering rooms at the station and wandered off to the town centre, and checked into the number one recommendation. We got lucky too, we asked for a cheap 3rd floor room without bathroom, but because its low season got a ground floor room with bathroom - ace! And the beds are sooo sooo comfy :o) we ate like locals (roast chicken and chips, 1 GBP) and went to bed really early.

Yesterday we tried to lie in, but due to our early night woke at 9am having had 12 hours sleep! Went for  awander to find some breakfast and ended up in the market where we found a little stall selling banana milkshake and cake - perfect! 50p each for a good meal :o) Puno is famous predominantly as a port to get to the islands on Lake Titicaca so we walked down to the port to check out the options. The closest islands are the famous Los Islas Flotatas (floating islands) which are a whole archipelago of artificial islands made by binding reeds very tightly together to create a floating platform. Its pretty amazing as this community (Uros) has been here for hundreds of years but now its all pretty touristy. It was fun though - we had a bit of a talk (in spanish) on the construction of the islands then got to wander round and look at (buy) crafts that the islanders had made. Then we got on a reed boat and went past a few more islands and finally ended up at tourist central - an island with phones and internet access!

Managed to catch the sun on my face, oops - its not very warm here but because we are so high the sun is really powerful. Only slightly tomato though :o) once we got back from the islands went to a slightly dodgy restaurant for the cheapest lunch ever (2 courses and drink for 40p) - dont worry feel fine today :o) then spent hours on the internet writing last entry and had a good meal - alpaca steak, yum. Like beef but half the fat :o)

So here we are, up to date :o) its now monday morning and we´re heading to Copacabana this afternoon - a town on the bolivian side of Lake Titicaca. Should be cool!

Also if anyone wants a postcard send me your address and il see what i can do :o)

ĦHasta luego! xxxx

P.s. My spanish is getting pretty good, I can have short conversations!
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