Puno is a province in the Puno Region, in southeastern Peru. It borders the provinces of Huancane, San Román, El Collao and the Moquegua Region's province of General Sánchez Cerro. Its capital is the city of Puno, which is located at the edge of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. It is the economic powerhouse of the region.
I feel better today. We both took our altitude pills. I also took my vitamins and was able to stretch out this morning. Larry and I took a short walk around the neighborhood. We missed really getting to know the area because we were gone most of the days here. We toured the city and square and the Colca Canyon Tour. The hotel we stayed in had 3 floors, was very cute and had good energy. Julie was a wonderful host when she was there. Her mom would get us hot water for tea and coffee. We have been drinking a lot of tea since the beach. I have used cocoa tea and added the cocoa leaves to my teas.
The hotel has a small yard that has grass and many beautiful flowers. Larry and I both spent time outside. The neighborhood is one block from the main road. There are restaurants and small stores nearby. The great thing is that you can’t hear the traffic. Julie made us breakfast on our last morning. One that I can’t eat anymore. Bread-so much bread, butter and strawberries preserves. I ate 2 pepino fruits that I bought on the first day at the market. They taste like a mild melon and look like a white stripey tomato. I liked them. I only had one piece of bread. Julie made us fresh pineapple juice mixed with papaya. Julie said goodbye and I thanked her. I asked to take her picture for my blog. I told her that her place had good energy and reminded me of my Gramma Boyer’s house. She thanked me a lot. We even hugged! https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g294313-d4567537-Reviews-Chez_Julie_La_Casa_de_Julie-Arequipa_Arequipa_Region.html
We rode on another luxury bus-on the top floor to Puno. It’s a 6-hour ride and we left at 1pm. It took an hour to drive through the city to get out of town. There is so much traffic here. I found it hard to write my notes on the bumpy bus, but it gave me something to do. We had a large family in the back of the bus that sang for nearly 3 hours. I listened to my audio books and napped too. We finally arrived in Puno at 7:45pm. It started raining right as we entered the city…. mostly light rain. Apparently rain is unusual at this time of year. The cab dropped us off at Marlon’s House hotel. http://www.marlonshouse.com The owner, Marlon, is Martin's friend from Nazca. He has hotels in Puno, Nazca, Cusco, and Arequipa. He was super friendly.
We needed to walk a bit since we had been sitting all day on the bus. We walked a few blocks to the main square. There weren’t too many people out, maybe because of the rain earlier. It had stopped already. We were looking for some place for dinner. There are literally 500 places to buy pizza. I was so surprised. Martin says Peruvians love their Chinese food and pizza! We found a place that made quinoa soup with veggies. I was so happy. I also had a veggie omelet with no cheese. I have been having a hard time finding the food I like to eat. This place was great! The name of the restaurant is Restaurante el Fogon, and I will eat there again. (LINK) As we were driving to Puno, we got up to an elevation of 148,000 feet. Larry didn’t feel so good then. When we were back at the hotel, we both took more altitude pills. Plus our sleeping schedules are crazy right now…. we didn’t get to bed until 11pm.
Sunday September 12 Puno
We had breakfast at the hotel this morning at 6:30am. We had fried eggs, bread, juice, tea, and coffee. I am having a hard time eating so much bread. We took a bus with a tour group to the marina on Lake Titicaca. (LINK) Our boat tour was from 8-4pm. We stopped at 2 islands. One was the floating islands of Uros. There are about 210 floating islands with 2500 people that live on them. We stopped on the one the major lives on and he gave us some information on how the islands are constructed and how long they last, about 35 years. The mayor was Victor, and we met his wife and children too. They had a table with their handiwork to sell. They sold needlepoint, wall hangings and pillowcases. I could have bought some things as I saw things I liked but I didn’t need anything. There is only so much room in our trailer, so I only admired it.
We did take a small ride in one of their interesting boats to another floating island. Victor and his wife rowed it. It cost us each $10 soles (about $2.50). Most of the kids from the island came along for the ride. They sang songs for us as we floated along…for tips of course!
After we left the floating island, we went to a larger agricultural island called Taguile. The ride was just about an hour. When we got off the boat and got our legs back, we had to walk up a super steep hill and at this altitude it was very hard. We watched the people who live on the island perform some dances and we were included in the dancing. I danced; Larry watched. They told us of their traditions of weaving hats and belts. They showed us how they make shampoo/soap out of plants. They also had many tables of items to buy but I again showed restraint. We hiked up another steep hill to the top of the island. That was even harder. I could walk about 10 steps and then I’d have to catch my breath again. Larry was having a hard time too.
Lake Titicaca is in Peru and Bolivia. We could see some land in the far distance that was Bolivia. Apparently there is quite a large black market for goods traded between Peru and Bolivia here to avoid government taxes. From the top, we continued down to the restaurant for lunch. This time lunch was included but we had to pay for our beverages.
I decided to have a few beers. I thought that might cheer me up. I am tired of feeling bad. The beer wasn’t that cold, but it was good. We had quinoa soup, trout from the lake, rice, veggies, and french fries. It was a good meal. After lunch, we walked down the back side of the island. The paths were nice, mostly paved. It was just the altitude that slowed us down.
Our boat was waiting for us. It took 1.5 hours to get back to the marina in Puno. Larry and I sat outside on the top of the boat for a while. It was a warm day and the sun reflected off the lake, making it even warmer. Martin was there waiting for us when we arrived. We did some more walking when we got back to the hotel.
We were looking for some fruit for me and were unsuccessful unfortunately. We saw a couple from our last tour of Colca Canyon and chatted with them for a while. We also found out that they were staying at our hotel too. We exchanged phone numbers and I let them know we rent out our house in Ajijic. They are originally from Peru but have lived in San Diego for 30 years. He speaks good English, and she understands it well. Very nice people. We never got their names…funny!
We ate peanuts in the shell for dinner! I realized that we should be taking our altitude meds twice a day, not once like we had been, so we had another. Larry even took some of my vitamins, like C, B, and a probiotic, to help feel better. He was feeling really bad today. As we sat in bed, shelling our peanuts, and making a mess, we watched an amazing lightning storm over the lake. Our room has a great view of Lake Titicaca. It’s on the 5th floor ....so many stairs to climb! I take one or 2 breaks when climbing up them. Ha Ha Ha