04.03.2013 - 04.03.2013 55 °F
I boarded a morning bus in La Paz to head into Peru. I continue to head north as I will be meeting friends in Cuzco in a week to do the Inca Trail. overall I liked La Paz a lot. It is much nicer than expected and located in such an amazing setting. It is cheap too. Last night I paid $15 for a high end sushi meal (sashimi and sushi) with gyoza and a huge bowl of miso soup. I stayed at my hostel for $6 a night!
The bus left La Paz the same way it came, climbing up the valley 1500 feet to the plateau and the city of El Alto. On the way up the volcano and snowcapped mountains came into view. I cannot imagine the view in the dry season. As for El Alto, it is a strange town ... it is poor but more accurately 800,000 rural Aymara living in a city setting. The volcano loomed in the distance behind the city.
After that, we moved into the beautiful Bolivian countryside.
Then, the southern part of Lake Titcaca became visible with the Andes snowcapped behind.
At 11 AM, we got to the not so nice border town of Desaguadero. It was a bit disorganized and the wait was 30 minutes to exit and 30 minutes to enter Peru. talking to an Aussie couple in the Peru line made it seem to go faster.
The Peru countryside was different, with terraced farming and women working in the field with animals. The views of the lake were spectacular. Lake Titcaca is the highest navigable lake in the world at 12,500 ft. What I notice is the clouds seem so low here.
I arrived in Puno at about 1 PM (although I thought it was 2 because there was a time change). Puno is a crowded city with narrow streets and Tuk-Tuks, the little vehicles, all over the place. I shared a cab ride with some British kids and then walked all over the city in search of a hostel. The first 3 or 4 did not sit right with me due to cost or lack of people. I ended up getting my tickets and tours booked and the folks at the tour agency were so nice. They phoned ahead to the hostel for me and made the reservation. After that things were looking up. I dropped my packs off and was able to explore the town more. A big storm came in creating some interesting lighting for photography.