Stop 41: Lake Titicaca

Yesterday I checked my old posts. Since I am back here in Zurich, I was pretty consistent in posting, once every month. So let us continue the tradition.

After Arequipa, I left for Puno with a day bus which arrived there during night time. Many people already commented that Puno itself is cold and not that stunning. So I decided to take a small hotel, do a half day tour and then leave for Copacabana.

I accidentally got the wrong address of the hotel. In the first street, nothing is really there and after 5 mins, I realized that I needed to go somewhere else. In that empty street, I was not really feeling comfortable, even the hotel would have been there …

There is not much food on the street, so I went into a chifa. The cook himself is actually Chinese and came here a dozen years ago. His wife works in this town, too, in another chifa (who would have thought). But really, if you check the prices here, I wonder how he makes money. Given that the weather here is so cold, what does it take to live and earn your money in Puno? Unfortunately, I did find out too much about the cook and left the restaurant.

The next day I took a short half day trip onto those floating islands. I remember talking to 2 Norwegian guys from Trondheim. One was a teacher teaching the teachers, and the other one was a doctor. We briefly chatted and then parted our ways since I took the bus to Bolivia.

At the bus station, it was actually a bit weird. The bus staff informed me that I need to do some stamps at the bus station since the machine at the border was broken. I need to pay a small fee of one dollar to do that. Even though it did not make really sense, I figured, well, whatever, and headed to the office. However, the queue there is quite long and we had to wait for a couple of minutes. The bus wanted to depart, so they send onto the bus and said that we can do that at the border too (wut?).

At the border, it was really not an issue to cross. We handed in the customs forms at the Peruvian side, queued at the Bolivian side, got the stamp, and left. Maybe also because the queue at the border suddenly got long (because a Bolivia hop bus just arrived to go to the Peru side), people at the border got stressed and sped up the process by not looking at my passport at all and gave me stamp.

At Copacabana, I thought I could treat myself and booked the “most expensive” hotel in town. It costed 44 dollar and was on a small hill where you could look over the bay area. The room or rather apartment was big enough for 3 people, which was a bit overkill for myself. But the facilities are good enough and had even small heaters in the room. The hotel itself even had their house alpacas where you can feed them in the morning. Without food, they don’t really bat an eye when you come close. I needed to give a lot of “puff breakfast thingys” so that they actually come close to me.

Many people suggested to go to the isla del sol. Supposedly very nice place. The hotel rooms there are a bit more expensive but I figured why not. Mine was located on the top of the hill and you actually had to hike quite a bit to get there. During the day, it was really hot under the sun, but in the night, you freeze your ass off. In the hotel, I saw the two Norwegians again after breakfast. I also met 2 Dutch guys which I met on the bus from Puno to Copacabana, but I don’t really remember anything we talked about, not even the dinner we had together back in the town in Copacabana (Actually when I saw my notes, I apparently met them in the monastery in Arequipa where we saw 5-10 minutes of a world cup game together).

All in all, I did not even talk to many people in these 3,4 days. I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it was also the cold weather or the town, that looked broken and a bit sad which did not motivate you to speak too much.

Now, I will put some photos again because isla del sol was actually really beautiful with the starry skies.

One of the floating places

The view from the hotel reception

The boat to the isla del sol

somewhere at the docking place on the island

view from the hotel on the island

starry night, the clearest sky i have seen so far.

Me, chewing through my current project at work, starting to get less lazy when I come home …


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