So here we are at Puno at 3,800m. It’s a strange place. Standing on the shore of Lake Titicaca and looking out to the lake, you could think you were in paradise. However, turn around 180 degrees and look at the town and it could be Morecombe. No. Even worse than that. Rhyl maybe. I can’t think what could be worse than Rhyl. I’ve decided that Puno has one syllable too many, and should just be called Pu. I don’t think we’ll be coming back.
All the travellers here come to go visit the famous Floating Islands on the lake. We passed on this trip, having been told various stories about it. And we had jobs to do this morning.
First off we were to the post office. Our walk through the town was nice enough. We noticed that nearly every shop was a photo copying shop. Hundreds of them. We used one to buy some parcel tape. At the post office my pen ran out so I used another to buy a biro. And then the lady told me I needed a copy of my passport so I used yet another! 2p per copy! Bargain! We were posting Josh’s poncho to him. This nice bright orange poncho, which I’d bartered down from £20 to £10, cost me £22 to send to Manchester! Josh, you’d better be wearing it every time we see you!
Second task of the day was to get Bolivian Bolivianos, as tomorrow we sadly leave Peru for our next country. Again, not as easy a task as you might think, but we managed.
We later found the market where I got my “find” of the day! Twice! A new disposable cigarette lighter, for 20p, but huge joy at finding it incorporated a tiny LED torch too! Next, some food from a street stall – some potatoes, huge sweet corn and meat. I’m not able to tell you what sort of meat, and I dread to think what it was, but it was very tasty and very cheap!! And it came in a bag!
A couple of beers later, and due to the altitude and heat, and beer, I had my next great idea. So off we went to the supermarket to purchase more beer, and some hair dye!!
Back at the hotel, Charlotte dyed my hair. Blonde. I had no qualms about it turning out red or green, but my only fear was that it would end up ginger! Then I’d have to shave my head! It’s actually turned out alright, with all my grey having gone! Charlotte says I look younger! Haha! Yes, I know it’s ridiculous being a 45 yr old bloke and dyeing your hair, but I’m just doing things that I haven’t been able to do for the last twenty odd years because of the job. And also I don’t really give a toss what I look like so this is also entertainment!
A few observations –
1. Most of the police on the street in Peru are women, and they all ride motorbikes. I quite like that.
2. Most people will lie to you just to tell you what you want to hear. (One example of many – “Can we pay by Visa for the hostel tomorrow?” “Yes of course, no problem”. Tomorrow arrives, “Can I pay the bill now?” “Yes of course” “Here’s my Visa card” “Oh we don’t take cards yet, maybe next month”. Well just bloody tell me that in the first place!!!!!
3. The mannequins in the shops are old, scary and ugly.
4. I have only found one shop in the entirety of Puno that sells beer.
5. Our hotel room is windowless.
6. ukdigitalcameras.co.uk have offered to replace my broken camera and send the replacement to an address in New Zealand for us. I’m very impressed with that.
7. I need to pack my bags now for another 5.30am start in the morning….