Exploring a new continent

Travel time: March - June 2010  |  by Dominik Weber

2 - 4 May Puno

For the trip to Puno, I decided for a cheaper option: not a tourist bus but a bus with a lot of Peruvianos and in a pretty damaged and old bus (the left side mirror was missing but the driver was using his horn more often instead). We were driving through a beautiful landscape, most of the time in one valley and only mountains around us. Lucky us, the street was most of the time pretty good and so I could enjoy very much the scenery.
In the evening, I arrived in Puno, a city at the Lake Titikaka that has not very much to offer beside trips to the three islands: The floating island, Isla Armanti and Isla Taquile. That was also my plan and so I went directly to a travel agent to book the tour for next day with an overnight stay on the island.
As I said, Puno does not have much of interesting sights for tourists. They are having a pretty nice pedestrian main road in the centre, with a lot of travel agents and tourist restaurants, but beside that, you can view the cathedral and that´s more or less it. I decided to go to bed early, my trip the next day also will start early.
(Trip to the Islands in a separate chapter)
Back in Puno, in the evening, I met with the three French girls I met on the islands. We had a lot of fun in the Kamizavaky Rock Pub, a really funny place with very, very friendly staff. When they realized that the girls were French (yes, I did improve my French again ), they were immediately playing French music. We had some drinks, we laught a lot and played Yenga. But the evening wasn´t too long, they girls had to take an early bus. I enjoyed the next morning in Puno, was walking around, enjoyed the market (as always), saw how a guy stole an entire bucket of olives, had lunch at a local place where I was the only tourist (I love doing that!) and took the afternoon bus across the border to Copacabana. I spent 29 days in Peru and at the immigration I only got 30 days (was a stupid mistake from my side). So, I had to leave. But looking back, I had some nice moments in Peru and saw some beautiful sights, however, I always had the feeling that I am the tourist and that they only look at me because I spend money there. I know that Peru relies on tourism, but other countries does as well and I feel much more welcomed in other countries. Well, let´s see how Bolivia will be - a lot of travellers told me that they had a similar feeling during their time in Bolivia.

Writing a lot about my travel but I think I don´t write enough about little things that I see or about the people. So, now I am writing about electricity. Electricity is a valueble good and not cheap. As I wrote, some villages in the jungle don´t have electricity but if they have, they usually get it by using solar panels. And beside that, I was surprised that in most of the cases the light bulbs are energy saving bulbs. It seems that they are more advances than Germany in this matter.
But tow more things about electricity: if you see a light in a house, a hotel or anywhere, most of the time you see a bare light bulb. No fancy cover, not many bulbs, just one bare light bulb on a electricty cord. The electricity cords are usually somewhere, across the rooms, hanging down, sometimes connected with Scotch film. And I can not remember how many fused I saw, uncovered and not fixed at a wall, hanging somewhere in the air or near a wall. And last: warm water. Usually the water gets heated right in the shower head. A thick electricity cable is going into the shower head and you are right below. There again, most of the connections are done by Scotch film... But so far, it worked!

Beautiful landscape up the Lake Titikaka at 3810m.

Beautiful landscape up the Lake Titikaka at 3810m.

Fresh meat market in Puno.

Fresh meat market in Puno.

They could get a category in the Guiness Book of World Records: How many Kindergarten children fit into one regular taxi! I don´t know how many were there, but I suppose around 15 kids an one adult. Plus driver.

They could get a category in the Guiness Book of World Records: How many Kindergarten children fit into one regular taxi! I don´t know how many were there, but I suppose around 15 kids an one adult. Plus driver.

The white papers in the back are job advertisements.

The white papers in the back are job advertisements.

This was not the only time that I saw a person "selling" something on the streets (in this case tuna, a yummy cactus fruit) but sleeping instead. It is pretty common here

This was not the only time that I saw a person "selling" something on the streets (in this case tuna, a yummy cactus fruit) but sleeping instead. It is pretty common here

© Dominik Weber, 2010
You are here : Overview The Americas Peru 2 - 4 May Puno
The trip
 
Description:
After working for too long without a real break, I decided to go on a long planned backpack trip. After changing the departure date and the destination several times, I decided to go to South America. Starting in Colombia, then Peru and finishing in Bolivia. At least, this was the plan but once on tour, you never know what to expect. This report is for all people asking how I am doing, but also for those who are thinking about doing something similar. I hope I can inspire them.
Details:
Start of journey: Mar 19, 2010
Duration: 13 weeks
End of journey: Jun 15, 2010
Travelled countries: Colombia
Peru
Bolivia
The Author
 
Dominik Weber is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 11 years.
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