Let's take it higher!

Trip Start Oct 01, 2011
Trip End Oct 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Colon Inn, Puno, Peru
What I did
Flew LAN airlines from Cusco to Juliaca
Private transfer from Juliaca to Puno

Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, October 7, 2011

Saying goodbye to Cusco, we headed out to catch our flight to Puno via Juliaca.  We were thoroughly underwhelmed by the warehouse-like international departure section of the Cusco airport, where our flight left from even though it was domestic.  Other than an obnoxious flight delay for a seemingly unknown reason, we had a relatively uneventful trip into Juliaca.

The town itself is quite barren although they do fancy their statues.  We were picked up by our driver and headed to our hotel which was supposed to be an intermediate stop before touring around Lake Titicaca.  The Hotel Colon Inn is not recommended by any stretch.  It is loud, small and the staff seemed put out by our presence.  But, it was chosen because it is across the street from the travel company who coordinated our homestay on Amantaní Island.  

We arrived around 5 and got settled in, but then Amy already began to feel really tired.  She had picked up a cold or sinus infection on the way back from Machu Picchu but it was more than that.  Dizziness, fatigue, vision issues.  Ugh.  So this is what 12,500' feels like…

We decided to have dinner in the hotel restaurant since we would be getting up very early to catch the boat to Amantaní.  Dinner was good, local fish and chicken, delicious bread and some warm tea.  We headed up after dinner to pack our backpacks for the lake trip.  We weren't allowed to carry more than a backpack but nothing more was really needed.

Our first night at hotel was not very restful.  Our second floor room overlooked a small but busy intersection where we were almost constantly serenaded by honking horns.  The honking eased up after midnight but never quite died out, and it picked up again with a vengeance around 5AM.  On that topic, if you even find yourself walking or driving in Peru, here are a few things it might mean if someone honks a horn at you:

-         "I see you crossing the street, and you have plenty of time, but I could still speed up and hit you if I really wanted to.  Just so you know."
·         “The light just turned green, and you’re first in line.  Move!”
·         “The light just turned green, and you’re second in line.  Honk at the first guy!”
·         “The light just turned green, and I’m last in line.  Everyone should be honking!”
·         “I’m happy to be alive!”
·         “I’m not happy to be alive!”

Sadly, Amy ends her experience of Lake Titicaca and Puno in the hotel. Too sick from altitude issues and a cold, she had to stay behind.  The extent of her experience over 2 days was sleeping, trying to walk to the bathroom, blurry vision, 2 oxygen treatments and one piece of bread.  Nathan narrates from here :)
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