Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Puno, Peru

Our next stop was Puno, the capital city of the province of Puno and a port on Lake Titicaca, the highest commercially navigable lake in the world. We flew from Lima to Juliaca and then took a bus to our hotel in Puno. Going from sea level to around 12,ooo feet in a matter of hours really took our breath away. We had to walk slowly and go easy on climbing, but we acclimatized without any trouble except for a few rather restless nights trying to sleep. So here's a brief overview of our time spent in and around lovely Puno...

Approaching the airport...a very dry and desolate landscape...

Welcome to Juliaca, a progressive industrial city...

Our modest hotel in the heart of Puno...

Yet another generic hotel room...

The main plaza in Puno, where all the action is...

Typical street scene...

A nice little bar where you'll make some "memorise"...

One of the streets bordering the plaza...

Locals catching up on the latest gossip...

You can buy lots of sweaters in this town...

More typical architecture...

There are lots of souvenir shops around here 
with internet access...

The closed-in balconies provide protection 
from the cold winter days...

More typical street scenes...


Lots of lawyers in this town, too...

The main cathedral...and yes, the sky is really that blue!

Here are some early morning street scenes...




Early one morning, we took a bus to the water front 
where we caught a boat tour on the lake...

One of these boats is ours...

Heading down the channel out to the open waters...


Our first stop was one of the Uros islands...

On the floating reed island...

The locals try to sell lots of touristy artwork 
to the visitors...


We took a ride on one of the reed boats...

Then we got back on the big boat and headed over to 
Taquile Island, where it was laundry day...

We hiked to the top of the island...

And stopped for a delicious lunch at a small restaurant...

That's trout on the plate...

The views from our table were spectacular...

Then we hiked around and visited one of 
the hilltop villages...

Where we marveled at the views of Lake Titicaca...

These youngsters were very amused by someone 
standing next to me...

More colorful handicrafts for sale...

One of the many stone walls we passed by...

Then we headed back to where our boat was docked 
for the trip back to Puno...

Once we arrived back at the port, 
there was a health care trailer welcoming us 
in case we felt lightheaded...
Puno is a delightful frontier kind of town with all kinds of interesting side streets and buildings to explore. The tour of the lake was also a comfortable and relaxing way to see Lake Titicaca and some of the islands although we only covered a very small portion of the lake. The weather was fantastic and the skies were the bluest I've ever seen. Next stop: a day-long bus ride from Puno to Cusco.

4 comments:

Ebie said...

Wow! I cannot get over these wonderful photos! You were gone for almost a month and I am sure there are loads of pictures to unload!

Chako-chan said...

I've never seen such a beautiful blue sky! Is that due to a thinner or cleaner air? I am guessing that "Abogado" means law or lawyer. The reed boat is amazing. The beautiful work of art must be good for the earth, being durable and biodegradable. Thank you for the great tour!

Oz Girl said...

Wow, what an amazing day. I love your typical street scenes -- one can get a feel for the culture. The island lunch spot looks divine, and what a beautiful view. I could sit at that table for a few hours and just relax. Love the shot of the kids looking at your compadre, too cute! And I also adore all the local souvenirs -- local handicrafts that are oh so colorful.

I have many items in my home that I can point to and say "this came from Mexico, this came from Bermuda, this came from N.Carolina", etc. I love that.

christinamg said...

Love the pictures!