If posts were hills this one might be a mountain. There are a lot of pictures so remember that you can make them pretty huge if you click on them, just saying.
The opportunity to go to Puno was absolutely incredible. We were able to be tourists with nothing holding us back, and oh boy did we go at it. We went to be able to get to know the city and just experience where we’ll be living for almost two years. I almost pee my pants when I say that. This city is absolutely it’s own culture and to be able to have the chance to live in it just blows my mind. Everyone needs to see this city, probably.
We came by bus, which only cost 15 soles for a 6 hour journey. The trip there in itself was awesome. Down below in the photographs you can see a herd of wild alpaca. That’s neat-o. We came around a turn and boom there was this city on the side of the mountains. We arrived at night, so where the lights in the city ended is where the lake started. The city seemed to be positioned next to the lake with a mountain right in the middle of the city. When you’re in any given area of the city, there’s more you can’t see because it has a mountain right in the middle. You have to remember how big Lake Titicaca is though. We can only see about 1/15 of it because Puno is located on a bay. But this lake is massive. Its an all day boat ride just to get across it.
We met the pastor of the Naz church there, ate dinner at his house around 9, and then stayed at a gangster hotel. I got up the next morning to look out the window to a mountainous landscape that is significantly greener than Arequipa. It does look a tad Mediterranean. From there, after breakfast we went to the floating islands in Lake Titicaca.
Now this is insane. These people build up reeds and live there with their families on them. Most of them go home at night after the tourism is over but some of the actually live there. It was probably top 10 coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life. Down at the bottom, I’ve placed a panoramic of one of the islands that we visited. We got a little lecture of how they build them. On the “capital” island (as the owner of the “supermarket” calls it,) I bought an alpaca sweater/hoodie thing in order to satisfy my tourist needs. I found out later that I overpaid a little, but heck, I bought it on a floating island.
The pictures down below:
Upper left: Wild alpaca.
Upper right: A field in the lake with a little calf.
Bottom left: One of the floating islands that we passed.
Bottom right: The squishy ground of the island.
So that was our day Saturday, except for a pretty energetic teen service a the church, and the hilarious presentation by our Peruvians. On Sunday, Roy, Trevor, and I headed out to hit the town to see what’s up. We found a cute little market with the sweetest old ladies ever. Roy had them going, and we told them that he is single. We decided to go up to the condor (TO THE CONDOR!) which over looks the city. On the way, we ran into Chad and he came with also. It’s quite the hike trust me. Remember that Puno is at 12,000 feet above sea level, and we had to climb 600 something steps. Those steps you see in the picture are about 1/3 of what’s actually there. The other 2/3’s are behind us. We stopped about every 100 steps and talked about the “most hillbilly things we’ve ever done.” Roy won that conversation. Well it was super hard but super worth it. Now remember, this is my tourist weekend so if you’re thinking that this sounds kind of “fun,” you’d be right. It was a blast. Down below you can see a the condor overlooking the city. When we arrived at the top, it was kind of surreal. There was one of those old ladies selling candy. I named here Athena, because she was at her temple at the top of the city. Of course we all bought something from her.
So, I bought an alpaca sweater, and two hats. The classic, originally made in Puno hat, and just my first Peru sag hat. They’re pretty balling. The weather’s not bad at all in Puno. It gets real chilly at night but other than that it was nice. The black and white pic is of the catholic church downtown, which was not too far from our hotel.
Well that is about as touristy as I get, I kind of felt annoying being a tourist. I’m really glad it’s out of the way and I’m super excited to call this place home for two years. Hope you enjoy the update, even though it was pretty small.