Part One: Puno and Lake Titicaca

We started our trip quite early on a nice Wednesday morning with negociating the price for a cab to the airport. As the airport is right on the other side of Lima you can pay any price between a few Soles and $25 to get there especially when you got a gringo-style face like ours. We finally took an option for 15 Soles which turned out to be a quite a bit for the horrible ride that followed (neither pedestrians nor cars that are smaller than the one you´re sitting in are paid any attention - this can get very exciting in the early morning, but it´s quite a good way to wake up and after all you´ll stop mourning about not having had breakfast so far...)

- Waiting for take-off... -

Well, we made it to the airport in one piece anyway and after waiting for quite a bit for the take-off we finally were on our way to our well earned holidays. I was quite surprised how good LAN-Peru actually is - a real relieve after the poor Iberia standard. They got nice food, new planes and you get to see the whole country. That´s because they do not go directly to one destination but rather got a bus-style system: They go to one place first, drop some people, pick up the waiting lot from there, move on to the next city, drop some, pick some up. Thus we got to see half of Peru (Cuzco, where we planned to go to later, as well, by the way) on our way to Puno...

- International (!) Airport of Juliarca - I guess my backgarden´s bigger...-

- Puno. What you see in the background is a tiny bit of the Lake Titicaca -

When we finally did arrive in Puno, we imediately planned our next two days: We would take a round-trip on Lake Titicaca visiting three of the most famous Islands there. The rest of the day we spent wandering through Puno, which doesn´t offer too much, and is very poor besides, but nevertheless quite interesting - more the “real” Peru like Lima perhaps. A funny thing that will happen to you there more or less imediately is that you get “soreche” - sick of the extreme altitude. As Lake Titicaca (and thus Puno) is about 3800m above sea level, your body lacks that funny thing called oxygene that it needs so badly and that gives you - depending on in what physical shape you are - a) a headache, b) a dizzy feeling, c) problems with breathing prpperly, d) fatigue or e) a completely green face and the posibility “to get to know a lot bathrooms” (as a friend from Norway would put it). Well, luckily we only got so far as point c) but things bettered throughout the following days...

- Femke, Dennis and Andrés on the boat on Lago Titicaca. -

The next morning we started quite early with the boat trip and more or less immediately got to know heaps of people from all over the Free World that would be hanging around on the boat as well - Australia, England, Spain, India, Japan, Netherlands, USA, France, Germany and Peru of course - seemed like everybody was there... First, we would go and see the “Islas Flotantes” which are man-made Islands, built of reed (!), swimming on the lake and being a home to the Uros - indigenous people.

- The first of the floating Islands - the bigger ones got up to hundreds of Uros living on them... -

- Literally everything is made out of reed here... -

- That close to the edge of the Isle the reed gets really weak - and you can get really wet! -

The next point to visit was the rather big Island Amantani where we would also spend the night staying with a family living there. Arriving there we imediately fell in love with the place - its people are very friendly, the landscape takes your breath away and all together it is maybe the most peacefull place I´ve ever seen. If I should ever need to flee to some secret hide-away after commiting a capital crime in the occidental world you may come and look for me on this most wonderful Island.

- The accomodation was very basic, but the room did have quite a view! -

- The main plaza of the village we stayed at on Amantani. -

- That´s basicly what most of the Island looks like. -

- What more do you want? I just loved it! -

- This arc is the entrance to an old, sacred Inca-place... -

Allthough a bit unwillingly, we departed the next morning and set of for another Island called Taquile. There we got to see a village of the native people living there and had a neat walk over the Isle. I´ll just let the pictures do the talking...

- The entrance to the main plaza... -

- Tiny old tower... -

- About 500 steps we had to climb on our way back to the boat... “Flyfry”! -

- Somehow reminded me of Italy... -



Part Two: Cuzco

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