Travel Story «Puno, Arequipa (Peru)»
24 October 2005
Last Update 24 October 2005
Continuing from our last story, the next (very groggy) day we caught a very nice bus with Tour to Puno in to see the other side of
Lake Titicaca . It was a huge novelty to have a loo on the bus again! So it was bye bye and 3 comfortable hours later we arrived into Puno were we got a hostal (Las Islas Hostal) through the guy that owned the place who was also a kind of usher on the bus. The hostal was smack-bang-central so that was great. That night we just went for a nice meal and started to get used to the idea of eveything costing double the price of that in .. :o(
In the morning we booked onto a great tour with Adventure Tours to see the final islands on
Lake Titicaca . Frst stop was the floating islands...these are crazy! There are ebtire communities that like in these tiny little huts made of reeds, make their entire islands from these reeds, make all their boats from these reeds (which we took a trip on!) and yes you may have guessed it...eat these reeds too!! Aparently there is tons of calcium in the root of the reed so these people munch on them each day and never have to brush their teeth or go to the dentist! We actually had a taste of the roots and there not that bad..like compresses lettuce I thought! I couldn´t believe in all this reed-madness that they also had a telephone run on solar panels in perfect working order and a small wig-wam looking hut that was their post office!! :o)
From the floating islands we sailed for 3 hours to spend the night on
Island . There we were met by an adopting family for the night. Myself and
Corona got this old couple that looked around 70-80. They took us to their house were they gave us a bed for the night and cooked us lunch+dinner. The food was surprisingly nice with a kind of vegetable soup to start and then rice+chips or rice and pasta for lunch/dinner. There´s no electricity on the island (or running water) so that night it was dinner by candle Light and torches to make our way down to the bottom of the hill were they had their toilet...a hole in the ground!
We went to a local party that night were myself+Corona dressed up in the local typical dress and danced to the beats of the local kids playing Andean music on drum, tiny guitsr (dont know name) and panpipes! We were 2 of 4 people from our tour boat that actually went cos ebeyone thought it was cancelled due to the raging thunder storm on the island. Because of this the whole this finished up within 30mins and we all headed back to bed to wait for the morning...Morning came to quick with the old woman rapping on our door at 5:30am telling me to go down to the local shop in the plaza to get change of my 100 soles note to pay for the beers we had the night before cos they had no change to give me! The plaza was a mile away so I sleepily made my way down and back within the hour. She had our breakfast when i got back of herb tea and dry bread (Yum). We got a photo of the old couple before we left so thats up in the photos section too...
Later that morning at 7:45am we got back on the boat and took a 1hr boat ride to
Island . This is probably the most commercially popular island and was nice to see also but we much prefared Amantani for it´s authenticity. The tour was completed with a great 3 hour sunny boat ride back accross lake titicaca to Puno. We met 3 sound Kiwi guys from
Auckland on the boat that we will probably meet up with in BA at xmas too. One of the guys (liviing in Wellington) gave us his email address and said to give him a shout when we get to and he´s sort us out or whatever...Sound! By the way if you want to check out a map of Lake Titicaca and the islands we are talking about click here for a pic -> http://www.crystalinks.com/laketiticaca_map.png
When we got back to Puno around 4pm we picked our bags up from the hostal that was keeping them safe for us, went for some dinner and then hopped on a bus at 8pm destined for the beautiful city of Arequipa. We arrived here at 3am this morning and so just sat sipping Coca tea in the packed train station until 5am this morn before hopping in a taxi to find a nice hostal with cable TV called the Verona Hostal. To quote the Lonely planet I have in front of me here:- Arequipa is a beautifully white colonial city nestled in a fertile valley under the perfect cone-shaped volcano of El Misti (5822m), which rises majestically behind the cathedral from the main plaza, flanked to the left by the ragged Chachani Mountain (6075m) and to the right by Pichu Pichu (5571m).....It´s very nice!!
We are gona check out the volcano tomorrow and take a trip through their famous Canon del Colca, the 2nd deepest canyon in the world at 3191m deep. Should be nice!
Well we booked a Colca Trek with Zarate Tours (Please anybody while we have met while travelling and is thinking about doing a Colca Trek do not go near this agency!!!) yesterday evening for this morning at 6am taking a hike to the Colca Canyon´s (they told us we would have a great english speaking guide and that there was another two people from Slovenia joining us), we paid 30USD each which included the taxi from our hostel, the bus to and from, accomodation for 1 night and all meals included....Well little did we know it was going to be the biggest DISASTER with a capital D ever....so anyway we got up at 5am this morning very weary and tired and waited for the taxi to arrive...we got to the bus station and Corona noticed a bit of trouble as the guy told us to sit down we could see some tension (we assume he was only booking our tickets there and then and that they were´nt going to actually give us seats on the bus)...anyway after about 10mins or so the guy came over with our tickets and led us to the bus, at this stage we were wondering where our guide was and where the other two travellers were which were meant to be joining us...Corona spoke up and the guy which we booked it through goes "Oh im your guide (now this lad had no english), as your original guide and the other two travellers won´t be joining us as they are not well"... straight away we said please cancel were not going.....We thought it would be no problem to get all our money back as it was there mess up...but little did we know we would be in a police station later fighting for our total refund back....these are touist police ...they did´nt want to hear our story at all and also because our spanish is´nt so good we had no chance in fighting our case....we ended up getting 42USD back but we are going to write to the Lonely Planet and try and blacklist them from it, as the Lonely Planet have them as being the best hiking agency in Arequipa(Which we dont undersatnd)! This was STRIKE 2 for the Lonely Planet, next time strike 3 and its gone!!!!
It was probably a good thing we did´nt go on the trek anyway after we found out, as Dave was´nt feeling so good last nite (he had uncomfortable pains in both sides...which he thought would be gone by morning)...but infact they actually got worse this morning while we were in a coffee shop, anyway we asked the owner of the coffee shop where the nearest doctor was and explained Dave´s symtoms (this has to be the nicest Peruvian ever, she went running down the street asking people and came back with two tourist police (We are actually going to buy her some chocs later)....which actually infact gave us a lift to a private clinic....was Hilarious we did´nt know what was going on and as we left the police car the guy asked for our email address...MAD!!! Dave got some tests done and after about two hours of waiting the doctor came back and said it was a Kidney Infection he had and that it was quite serious - we were very lucky we went when we did! He gave him an injection in the bum today - OUCH (better he than me)!!! And he has to go back tomorrow for another and then again on Wednesday, then its tablets for 5 days...the doctor said he should be fine in two days or so but if he´s still in pain Friday it will be Bye Bye to Inca Trail!!
Other than that theres nothing else to report....
Next stop is Cuzo on Tuesday. We stay there for a couple nights then do the Inca Trail Oct 28th. Can´t wait for that!
Okay then, talk to ya´s again soon..
PS: I wanted to put up some movies of me with my monkey Talia in Villa Tunari but we stuipidly wrote with ball point pen on the CD and have completely destoyed it...disaster! Anyway theres a new short movie up there of the view from a holy mountain we climbed to the top of when in Copacabana..you should check it out here --> www.daveandcorona.com/movies.html
03 November 2005
Last Update 03 December 2010