Last days in Peru...after leaving Cusco we caught a bus to Puno on the Peruvian shore of Lake Titicaca (the largest high altitude lake in the world).
The bus was a tourist bus designed to stop about 5 or 6 times along the way at various churches and ruins.
Unfortunately our guides English wasn't the best and most of what he said was difficult to understand. The other downside was that the journey took about 10 hours!!!
As we were nearing Puno we hit a big thunderstorm that lasted for an hour or so. It was still raining and miserable when we arrived and our first impressions on the town were not great.
Things got worse when we had arranged a pick up with our hostel but all they did was come to the station and get a taxi which we had to pay for...we could have done that ourselves!
The hostel was a dive and was clearly still under construction and our room was on the top floor (about 7 flights of stairs with no lifts in earthquake country) and the floor was flooded and we had no lightbulb!
We decided immediately to only stay one night at catch a bus out the following afternoon.
The next morning Stuart and Charlene went back to bed after breakfast and Adam and I decided to go for a walk and try to find the port as the Lake is supposed to be really pretty but after an hour of walking we only managed to get lost! We did find a locals Market though which was interesting and much more useful than the touristy ones.
At 1.30pm we caught the bus to take us across the Bolivian border. Stuart and Charlene bumped into a German guy that had been on their Machu Picchu trek which made the 3 hour journey more interesting.
The border crossing was simple. We had heard all these horror stories about trying to cross the border but now believe they were all started by the Americans who have to pay $100 to cross! It's only fair though seeing as the Americans charge the Bolivians a stupid amount too...
The bus dropped us off about 100metres from the border where we changed our Soles into Bolivianos, we got stamped out of Peru, walked under the archway that symbolises the border, got stamped back in the other side and got back on the bus...simple!
Well, it was until Adam got carried away getting his passport stamped on the Bolivian side and nearly walked voluntarily into the inspection room! He certainly gave the Official something to laugh at...
So to summarise our Peru adventure these are our observations;
• Peru is largely pretty but very rundown with most buildings unfinished to save tax payments (some loophole in the system)
• You really can get used to putting your toilet paper into a bin and not the toilet...it's better if you don't want to wake up floating next to the contents of the drain the next morning...
• The drivers are insane but if you want to cross the road, just go for it! There are no rules and the police are ignored!
• The meals consist of soup starter with chicken, rice and chips for main...lunch and dinner...every day!!!
• The breakfast consists of a bread roll that's all crust and no centre with dodgy jam!
• The Peruvians are very friendly and largely happy but they will not leave the tourists alone...no I don't want a massage or to buy your dodgy products!!!
• The Irish Pub in Cusco sells a t-shirt that says "no gracias" ... Perfect!!!
WE LOVED IT!!!