One Night Bus… Lake … Two Night Buses

I had a long debate … yes with myself, nobody else around …. the Amazon or Arequipa… couldn’t  do both.  Arequipa won. 

Since I was heading that way I detoured to  Lake Titicaca…. Not sure what I was thinking… perhaps the aaltitude in Cusco was affecting me more than I thought, I booked not just one night bus but two!

I usually travel on Cruz del Sur, but their internet portal wasn’t working.  Instead I travelled on Peru Hop/Bolivia Hop.

The latter is a flexible hop on – hop off bus that operates in Peru and Bolivia… you can buy a pass or you can do what I did, book just what you want to.

Night one, on the bus… picked a comfy seat. Snuggled in a warm duvet that was provided…  fell asleep within a few minutes… only to be woken up a couple hours later to have a wristband put on …

I woke several times during the night, usually because the bus was bouncing from the  roads  … one time I woke up my daypack had rolled out from beneath my seat and was  sliding up and down the isle…great…

Arrived in Puno at 5:30 am … breakfast then dropped off at our meeting point … one fellow passenger asked “Sleep Well?” Hell No!  The joke was on me… compared to the next evening that was a beauty sleep .

6:45 picked up to be transferred to tour boat.  before we even get going a fellow came aboard and played the pan flute and sang… then of course passed around the hat for tips.. really …

Our  first stop were the floating Islands of Uros.  Each Island has 3-4 families living together… there are too many Islands to count.  There’s a school, soccer field ( back filled so it’s solid), small Clinic and central toilets.  And one Island that acts as the  municipal headquarters .

Islands are  made with the reeds that grow naturally in the shallows … the roots of the reeds provide the base, then layer after layer with reed tops.  Each  is land lasts 30-35 years.  They are anchored  to the lake bottom so  they don’t float to Bolivia! Quite amazing … If you wish do an overnight stay with a host family, it’s available .. I skipped that one

Final stop is Taqulle Island.., one of the largest and driest. No llamas or alpacas , plenty of sheep. The locals dress like more colonial style – think bullfighter without the the cape. Men were hats and the women were black shawls over their heads.

The main square is very non applealing … but it hosts  great fiestas … I’m told. men were a wig made of their wife’s hair under their hats and the women were 23  skirts!

Back to Puno … dinner then wait for the next night bus to Arequipa.  All of us,  even the ones going to Cusco. were put on the same bus… Arequipa and Cusco are in different directions…

Arequipa bound on the bottom of the bus…  Cusco, on the top.  When we reached the crossroads, Arequipa passengers switched buses. Midnight and in the middle of some village 12  people clutching their blankets, grabbing their luggage … when a semi trailer came trough the narrow road, we had to flatten ourselves against the bus …

Around 3:30 we stop and a Peruvian sercuity guard boards the bus… remember it’s 3:30 am and some dude is speaking Spanish .., we all looked at him as if he was an alien .  The bus attendant then translated ” do you have food?” The guard  rifled through the bags and pulled out apples and oranges … left the banana.s… go figure Still have no Idea why… maybe he  wanted a snack and is allergic to bananas …

Next stop is Arequipa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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