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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Peru - 8 December, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Isla Amantani, Lake Titicaca S1540.158' W06942.316' 3,861 m
Hotel, Puno S1550.854' W07001.256' 3,861 m 44 km (by boat)
Sillustani (funerary towers) . . . .
Finish Hotel, Puno S1550.854' W07001.256' 3,861 m 66 km

Leg 1 Total:

5,331 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

6,102 km

 

Weather: Partly cloudy, sunny and warm.  Rain and cool at night.

 

 

Peru01_Titicaca2_Amantani1_Jac_4083_Web.jpg (114593 bytes)

We awake in our dorm and lay in bed for a while before getting ready for the day.  As we are packing our bags, our hostess brings in some tea and bread for breakfast.  After we finish this spartan meal, we pick up our bags, bid our hosts farewell and head down to the pier and our boat.  Once down there, we find one of the other guides giving a talk on the island and the local people.  We sit down and listen.  But after a few minutes our guide comes and herds us like cattle towards our boat and rushes us aboard.  But once we were there, we just hung out waiting for some of the locals who were going to get a lift.

 

We must say that we were disappointed with this trip to Lake Titicaca.  The reed islands have become too commercial and the island stay was below expectations.  The family put us up in a dorm room and we had limited interaction with them.  We could at least have had breakfast with them.  Finally, the guide was hopeless.  She did not explain anything and just ordered us from here to there.  Her briefings were limited to one phrase "do you have any questions?".  Oh, well.

 

Peru01_Titicaca2_Boatride_Pier_4089_Web.jpg (76250 bytes)

After a 3 hour boat ride (the water was much calmer today), we arrived back at Puno.  A minibus took us back to our hotel.  At the hotel, we found a note from Sam telling the group that we will be leaving for Bolivia tomorrow (there was some concern that there might be some labor unrest and blockades that would hinder us from going).  Sam also noted that he had Jacqui's passport, but said nothing about whether she got her visa - we were on knife edge.

 

We decide to head into town for some lunch and on the way we run into Sam.  We finally hear the end of the visa saga.  Jacqui got her visa in the end, but it took about 4 visits to the consulate (including one at 5 PM after it was closed) and $30 of "coffee money" to get the visa.  Formal approval was never given by the foreign ministry in La Paz.  But we got it after many applications, visits to embassies, faxes and telephone calls.

 

Peru01_Sillustani5_Tower_4095_Web.jpg (67882 bytes)

After lunch and a bit of surfing the web, we head back to the hotel for an afternoon excursion to the nearby Sillustani.  We have a hard time getting out of town - it is market day and many of the streets are closed.  We see a fantastic rainbow on the way there - it is a full half circle.  We arrive at Sillustani, where the Colla tribe (which became part of the Inca empire) buried their dead in elaborate funerary towers.  It is an impressive sight seeing these huge towers (some 12 meters high) on the hill on this bleak landscape.  We spend about an hour wandering through the complex.

 

Peru01_Sillustani_Return_4097_Web.jpg (103262 bytes)

Our drive back into town is even more difficult than our drive out of town.  Many streets are blocked off and we get a bit lost.  We head down one street, which takes us to the train marshalling yard - the stupid security guard will not let us into the front part of the yard to turn around, so we have to back up all the way (how silly).  In the end, we have to drive down one of the market streets, which was filled with stalls and people.  We were just able to squeeze through.

 

We relax in the hotel before we plan to go out for dinner.  But then the rain starts to come down, so we wait for it to end.  It does not, so we decide to just run down the block to the local market and pick up some food from the street vendors to eat in our room.

 

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