From Bolivia to Peru

Trip Start Nov 03, 2012
Trip End Dec 31, 2012

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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, November 19, 2012

Woke refreshed and went down stairs for coffee and scrambled eggs before walking down to the shore line to catch our boat back to Copacabana.

Rain had started, which made the decent all the more nail biting as some if the flagstones we were walking on had been polished by footsteps for hundreds of years.

10 or so mins into our chugging boat ride back to town Joel had our captain pull in to a cove where possibly the most important building of the island could be found. The temple of the sun.
Mostly intact, it was guarded by a stern faced woman who would not let us pass until she had seen our previous tickets (here arose the issue with wearing travellers outfits with multiple pockets, I had 27 possible places where I would have put them, took 5 mins to find)

The temple itself is a multi roomed building with two main doorways angled so as to have the winter solstice and summer solstice sun, rise and shine upon sacred statues.
Sadly, the Spanish stole (if made of gold) or later archeologist from Europe 'acquired for study' any and all statues if importance or value.

The remaining boat trip took a little under an hour and we arrived at Copacabana to do a spot of shopping for those at home (no, shan't tell you what) and met up with Joel for lunch at our original accommodation where Alexis, non beer drinker that he is, had his one and only Bolivian beer with Joel.

The bus was due to leave after 1 but not before Joel took us to a tour company of people he knew, to arrange our Puno excursions for the following days.
Meeting a guide who impresses you often opens opportunities to take tours direct from the operators rather than through 3rd party Internet/agents. We had arranged adapt tour if floating islands and a home stay with a native family for 300 perivian soles. At this stage, we are not sure it that's a good deal or not.

The bus trip to the Bolivian border was short, the process neat. No need to pay exit fees, just got out passport stamped and away we went. Not back onto the bus but a short (up hill, always friggen up hill) stroll to the Peruvian border.
There the process was the same, a line, short wait, stamp stamp stamp and off you go.
Meanwhile the bus came across the border and we got back on for a 2 hour ride to Puno.

Because of various delays we arrived at the main bus terminal about 45mins later than expected and our pick up from the hotel has come and gone. After getting some local money from an ATM we took a cab to our accommodation, two blocks from the main square. Taxi cost 10soles and the driver, with only minimal grumbling broke a 50 for me. Seems no one in Bolivia OR Peru like making change.

Went up stairs (of course) to our room and made plans for the evening. Alexis had unfortunately not taken enough money out for our tour so he made a dash down to the main square to get more while Tina awaited a rep from the company for us to finalise the next days plans.
Earlier in the day we had made a Internet booking for the Inca Express ($55 US per person but seems that our hotel could have arranged it for up to $20 less pp) and we were awaiting a response via email to confirm out booking and arrange payment.
In the end the very helpful staff on the front desk made a call and arranged a inca staff member to come to the hotel by 6 for us to pay, get our tickets and go to dinner.

Took a short stroll around town following the sometimes dot laden mini map the hotel staff gave us on arrival. They had walked us through the business card sized map, marking points if interest but now, 4 hours later in the twilight, it was hard to know what dot meant bank and which meant market.
Half an hour later and we had located a shop for done supplies, including some rice and sugar for the home stay family as recommended by the tour company rep.

Dinner was in the restaurant recommended by the hotel staff. Upstairs (urgh!) beyond a confusingly folding door we found a restaurant that covered many bases. They made hot spiced wine, wood oven pizza, could easily interpret butchered Castiliano and were not too slow in filling orders.
Cheese however seems to continue to be a base for all meals even across the border.
Alexis had stuffed peppers (spicy and consequently risky as his stomach was in protest mode) while Tina had a chicken and ham dish that had been covered in cheese and out under the grill.

As we had crossed a border we spent the remaining evening back logging and saving various photo sets to various devices, while occasionally taking a break to test the plumbing.
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