One of easiest border crossings...short taxi then bus to Puno. Countryside along lake flat, lots of agric and grazing...sheep, cattle, cows...small farmsteads and small villages all along the way.
Stayed in Hostel Inn Los Pinos...very nice, helpful folks. Used their connections to arrange tours, easiest and in the end, cheapest way to see alot in short time we found...after much investigation!
Two tour trips in one day. Floating islands of Uros people and Sillustani, a burial place with many huge tower-like structures of huge, sculpted, quarried stone! See pics. Near here was called Atuncola, pre-Inca capital meaning 'big town'...plus, Pukara which was inhabitated 2000 BC, evidence of irrigation and raising sweet potato.
This area is of two linguistic groupings, N. of Puno are the Quechua speaking (only 800 yrs old) and S. are the Aymara speaking (2000 BC).
Thor Heyerdahl...Hey, This Guy Was Great!
Went to see the oldest ship on lake...built in England 1862, shipped via Cape Horn to Arica, then train to Tacna, then mule...all pieces designed to fit on mule's backs and capabilities...took 6 years to haul over the Andies to Puno and launched in 1870! Due to lack of coal they fueled it w/ llama dung. Now being restored, really cool! See pics.
Also found out that Lk Titicaca rises 2 + meters during the rainy season (Nov-Mar), amazing amt of water funneling into this huge lake to cause such a rise! Deepest point is 240 + meters! Titicaca
. On way to this area I saw really big herds of alpacca and sheep as well as some cows/cattle.
Wish we had gone a bit further in our investigations of the area so we could have visited the 'Star Gate of the Gods'...Great Info on This Site
Likewise, could have spent more time here investigating the underwater ruins...Lake Titicaca and the City of Tihuanacu
Morning...getting tired of having to wear down jacket and bundle up just to be comfortable in the bathroom brushing teeth! Also, the altitude thing is not something my body wants to adjust to, I still wake up 2 to 3 times at night gasping/gulping air. No hot water but clothes still need washing...cold mornings and eve inside is not inviting but still need to wash out what we can so the little morning sun (which arr about 9 am and leaves at noon due to tall bldgs and window orientation) will hasten dry time. When you have to wear most of your clothes (excl shorts) to keep warm everything gets dirty and can't go out 'til clothes are mostly dry.