Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 44 - La Paz - Puno (Peru)

Distance travelled (by bike): 5468

Leaving La Paz at 7am, without shane and all the extra luggage, not feeling 100%, but determined to cross the border to Peru. After asking several people in my broken spanish the way out of La Paz i eventually find the right road that leads to Lake Titicaca and realise that maybe i relied to heavily on Shane been fluent in spanish. After 4 military check points the road skirts the lake until i reach a small town, where it seems the road disappears. It turns out that you need to get a ferry of sorts across this part of the lake, bike loaded the ferry departs. On the other side the road continues! Passing through Copacabana  and on to the border crossing. After an hour papers seem to be in order, about to depart i get pulled over by the police. They check all documents and ask about international motorcycle insurance, i was not aware this existed. As in Bolivia i produced the worldwide medical insurance policy certificate. And like in Bolivia they seemed happy, not checking the details, just seine the policy number was good enough. On into Peru. 
Puno is situated on the shore of lake titicaca and is the gateway to the Uros or 'floating Islands'. Finding somewhere to stay i quickly signed up to a tour to the floating islands.  The islands are only 3 metres in depth, made from some form of mud stacked with reeds. There are over 50 islands, each one has a lifespan of no more than 80 years. The islands were incredible, in places you would walk and sink other places would be solid. All the huts on the islands are made from reeds, i was told it dropped to -5 in the winter, couldn't help thinking that reeds wouldn't isolate incredibly well. 
With a storm looming on the horizon we headed for shore.

an isolated church on the edge of lake titicaca

looking west over the lake

the bike on the ferry across the lake

the local taxi's in Puno

looking back to Puno from the lake

the houses on the floating Island

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