I love how this long trip has not exhausted my ability to be surprised. Buses in Peru have nothing to do with the luxurious ones in Argentina; there are no flat-bed seats, no blankets, no food trays… but they’re quite amusing with all their extravagances. They stop in the middle of nowhere to pick up vendors of food (anything from sugar cane to chicharrones), ointments or books; they show one pirated movie after another, and passengers chat lively. Peruvians might be poor, but 2 minutes after meeting you, they offer you to stay at their homes!
I took one of those buses from Arequipa to Puno (approx. 7 hours), where I wanted to explore the Lago Titicaca. The city itself is not particularly nice, but the highest navigable lake in the world at 3,821 m has has made it world-famous. In the middle of the lake, the Uros natives live on strange floating islands, built from the same totora rushes they use for their boats. Although a bit touristy by now, a day tour to the Uros Islands plus Taquile Island (where you get to hike around and observe the local culture) is definitely worth it, at less than $10.
Some things are absurdly cheap here, like the mototaxis, which take you anywhere for a few cents. I appreciate them because altitude has started to affect me, I feel dizzy and out of breadth. I’m also enjoying the local fauna, which seems to be everywhere. Apparently there are 5 types of camelids, lamas being the most recognizable. I think they’re all edible, I’ve only tried a couple for now… They aren’t too bad, a bit dry but tasty. I prefer cuy (a sort of guinea pig) that I tried yesterday in skewers. And then there is Inca Kola, that indescribable soda capable of standing up against almighty Coca-Cola. It’s interesting how the first time I tried it, I didn’t like it, and now I can’t stop ordering it 🙂