Now, I was in new country in South America, Peru. Puno was a small town with hardly any tourist on the edge of Lake Titicaka, the highest lake in the world.
At Puno main bus station, I collected my backpack then bought a ticket for an overnight bus for the next day. Then I took a taxi to my hostel. I checked in, where the girl was really nice, explained the hostel and the way to the town. I also booked an island tour for the next day with her. I put my stuff in my room, which had three beds and a private bathroom. There was no-one else there, which was great.
I walked towards town in search of food. I bought a mango from the market, then wandered the main streets with a plaza, churches, souvenir places and restaurants. There were many people on the street promoting their restaurant but I am so bad at making decisions. In the end, I went to a place on one of the back streets, where they had a set menu for 15 Soles ($3). There were only a couple of other people inside.
I ordered nachos with guacamole for starter, aubergine and cheese bake with rice and vegetable, a chocolate cake for dessert plus a tea for after. It was all delicious except for the cake, which was burnt and dry.
On the way back to the hostel, there were four people dressed up, dancing in the street, promoting their shop. It was so funny with crowds of people around them. At the hostel, I had an early night, watching films. I was lucky enough for no one to enter my room during the night so I had the whole room to myself.
With my alarm waking me up early, I rose at about 5.45am. Again, took a shower, waiting a while for hot water then ate the complimentary breakfast of bread, jam, juice, yoghurt and tea. I checked out, placed my bag in the luggage room and waited for some to pick me up at 6.45am for the full day tour, which cost 60 soles.
Once all the passengers were collected, we were dropped off at the port. We squashed into a boat with other people then set off. It was raining slightly outside and the temperature was super clothes. I had some layers but not as many as I needed. Most of the people on the boat were in groups, mainly families.
While the boat hovered to our first destination, the tour guide explained the surrounding area and the culture of the island, telling us how they use the reeds for everything: food, house, transport even making the islands of Uros out of them. It took around 2 hours to get there on Lake Titicaca.
It was completely different to what I expected with tiny, yellow islands with about 4 or 5 small houses on each. The people there live on these islands. I don’t think I would be able to stay here forever. It was really interesting to see and experience but I could also tell it was like a zoo, where travellers would go. On the island, we sat on a log, where I guide told us more about the people, food and how the islands and houses were built.
We were offered to have a ride on the boats, which was nice as a boy used a reed to move around and a young girl sung songs. I also felt that I was forced to go on the boat, where we had to pay 10 Soles. I looked inside the houses, where there was just a small room with a large bed. All the ladies on the island were bare feed as well as making things for tourists to buy.
Back on the boat, we casually crossed the lake for about two hours to Taquille Island. Again, the guide explained some things but he spoke in Spanish most of the time so I only got parts of it. I napped for a little.
We disembarked the boat, where some people went to the toilet. We had to walk to the main village in the centre of the island. I was the first one to go, giving my ticket at the entrance. The walk was about 40 minutes, depending how fast one walks. It was on a gravel ground, going slightly up hill through the odd house and restaurant and sheep eating grass. It was nice to amble through, where there were locals selling souvenirs. I stopped and waited for the group a couple of times as I know I can walk pretty fast.
Now with the sun shining and not needing the layers, I relaxed in the main square, looking at the view of the lake. Here, there were signs pointing to different cities around the world with the km, a church, factory and restaurants.
Next, we wandered to a locals house for lunch. They offered us vegetable soup with bread, cheese omelette with rice and potato and a coca tea. At the table, I ended up talking to two Colombians, who were really nice, finding out more about Colombia.
After lunch, we hiked down a load of stairs back to the boat. The ride back to Puno took around 3 hours, where most people just slept. We arrived back at the port around 6, where we were taken back to our hostel.
In the evening, I wandered around Puno in search of food. I ordered a 3 course meal consisting of an avocado salad, vegetable pizza and chocolate cake with a pisco sours, a traditional alcoholic drink in Peru.
Back at the hostel, I chilled for a bit before getting a taxi to the main bus terminal. I had to buy a tax ticket then I dumped my backpack in the bus and found my seat. The seat was really comfy and wide with the seat nearly horizontal. A guy brought around a hot drink before the lights were turned off. I was travelling to Cusco for about 7 hours overnight. The drive was smooth so I managed to get lots of sleep.