Peru Pt. 3: Puno & Lake Titicaca

September 29, 2010

After our time in Arequipa, Taylor, Sam & I endured a 12 hour bus ride to Puno (the rest of the group went to Colca Canyon and was going to meet up with us later). This was probably the most interesting bus ride of them all. When we first got on this Peruvian man got up and talked to everyone in Spanish, which neither Sam or I understand enough of to make sense of anything he said & Taylor had already fallen asleep. After he finishes talking, he walks down the aisle and hands everyone some candy (it was like the strawberry type that is wrapped to look like a strawberry, with the gooey center) & then proceeds back down the aisle and asks everyone for 1.50 Soles. Sam and I had absolutely no idea what had just happened. Towards the end of our bus ride another Peruvian man got up and began rambling on about everything from McDonalds to education to sex to I don’t even know what else. He also came down the aisle to give us stuff, but Sam and I had already learned our lesson the first time around.
The hostel we stayed at was owned by the cutest Peruvian couple & the wife made us pancakes every morning for breakfast. Sounds delicious, I know, but little did we know this was the beginning of pancakes every morning for the rest of our trip. This was also probably the coldest hostel we stayed in, but they did have hot water which was super nice.
While staying in Puno, we took a trip to the Floating Islands in Lake Titicaca (half of it is in Peru, the other half in Bolivia). While this was a sad time because we were so close to Bolivia & not going, Lake Titicaca was probably one of my favorite spots in Peru.. next to Machu Picchu, that is. These Incan families live on the islands that they’ve made out of reeds and anchored down to the bottom of the lake so that they don’t float away. They have to add new reeds to the islands every 2 weeks to maintain them. They also have boats made out of the reeds that they use as taxis to get from island to island and to get back to Puno to trade their fish for other food that they might need.
Puno was also the location of our Cuy (Guinea Pig) eating. Cuy is a delicacy in Peru, which can clearly be seen by the way they serve it to you. I’m pretty sure they just cut the poor little guy in half and fry him and then put him on a plate for you. Our Cuy still had whiskers & teeth, and we’re pretty sure there were some brains (apparently you’re supposed to suck them out and eat them) in there. Let me just say, this is probably the most inconvenient way to serve someone a guinea pig. The skin was extremely tough, but the meat was pretty delicious.

Next up: Cusco!

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