Reed huts. Uros Islands, Lake Titicaca

3. Lake Titicaca

September 2002 – Peru & Bolivia

Hello. We are back in Cusco after renewing our stamp and crossing the border (twice) into Bolivia to visit the islands on Lake Titicaca. I lost my Peruvian immigration card and didn’t get an exit stamp from that country so the Bolivians sent me back ($5 fixed the problem with minimal time and inconvenience). Dee got through easily, with a cheery shout of “Ireland for the Irish” from the border official.

We hung around Copacabana, a laid back lakeside town popular with ageing hippies, before hiking across the Isla del Sol. The guidebook states that the walk across the mountainous island should take three hours but we, as usual, took longer and ended wandering in the dark with failing torch batteries, chasing dropped apples and giggling in the rain, until we were rescued by small boys.

Puno, back in Peru, provided the base for visiting Taquille and the floating Uros Islands; made of reed and springy to walk on. Then, after a few days reunion with Mr Benn in Cusco, we took off to the jungle town of Quillabamba, ate lots of cakes and ice cream, got savaged by insects (tip: spray repellent, don’t count them) and hitched lifts on trucks.

In between, we managed to get some work done and finish the Latin America Supplement that we promised an issue or two ago. Next month we should be back in Bolivia, to La Paz, before deciding whether to head for Argentina or Chile.

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