Haphazard Travels, Tribulations, and Triumphs
Hello from Puno. This will be a short entry becuse, well, not a lot happened today. This morning was running around Arequipa getting some chores done and seeing La Cathedral, the main church in the Plaza Des Armas. Far more impressive outide than in. It was massive, but unlike most of the other churches was in use so I didn't feel right wandering around taking pictures and exploring. Then it was out to the Terminal Terrestrial (That's wrong but for the life of me I can't remember its real name.) Anyways, arrived and most of the buses were sold to Puno! Luckily I got a seat on a line I had never heard of about 20 seconds before it left. (Well, ten minutes after it was supposed to leave, but hey, who's counting?) The ride was 5 1/2 hours long and blistering hot. The Peruvians definitely can take the heat better than me. They were actually closing the windows! On the way there passed an overturned bus. It's the first traffic accident I have seen and judging by the reaction of the bus, a very rare event. I was talking with someone about this and we came to the conclusion that the lack of road rules here (by our standards at least... lanes seem to be optional much of the time) force the drivers to be hyper-road aware while in North America, the rules are so strict taht everyone expects them to be followed and gets lax, to the point of say, reading while driving. This morning I also saw my first student driver! They're the same as back home. Hands at ten and two o'clock, rigid shoulders, and generally frightened countenance. It probably didn't help to have the line of taxis behind jockeying to get by, honking like mad! And I thought learning to drive in a PG winter was tough! Anyways, Puno is an amazing city, located in three or four distinct, but very small and steep watersheds. It is also insanely bustling. The streets are literally shoulder to shoulder. It is like the crowds of Arequipa or Lima have been condensed into narrower streets and far narrower sidewalks! It's up early tomorrow and out to the Isla Taquiles with a stop at the floating Islands (made out of reeds). Then overnight on the island before coming back to Puno. I've bought a pile of fruit to give to the family I will stay with tomorrow night. In fact, I probably went a bit overboard. Oh well, just doing my part in the war against Scurvy! Arrrrrrr!!!