Good Friday, April 6, 2012
We awaken today with the plan to travel on towards Cusco. It will be a long day and may take 2 Blog Posts to get there! Outside of our hotel in Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the normal hustle and bustle carries on in the streets. We walk 2 blocks to a luxury bus that will carry us today. We manage to get front row seats!
We travel through Juliaca, a neighboring city and the sights are interesting.
Into the highlands again and the scenic vistas are breathtaking! Yellow and red quinoa fields abound (pronounced keen-wah) before we arrive in the town of Pukara for a rest stop.
In Pukara (or Pucara) the attraction is the “Sixteen Chapel”, we believe it to be a bad pronunciation of long ago in an effort to mimic the famous Vatican Chapel. But it is Good Friday and they are decorating for Easter Sunday. Outside, children play in the streets and we also see an older woman pulling her delivery bicycle instead of riding it. The road out of town is dirty and muddy, but our bus navigates it okay.
Then it is back into the highlands where we pass through random towns, some with names that are difficult to pronounce.
Soon we come to open pastures where flocks of Llamas and Alpacas graze. The bus stops to let us stretch our legs. Vendors display many products for sale that are made from these animals. We look but don’t buy anything. A sign tells us we are at 14,200 feet!
Driving on, our bus stops at “La Pascana” restaurant ‘Turistico’ for lunch. This is an open air restaurant overlooking a river and pastures that we walk in and are promptly spit at by a feisty Llama! Again, vendors display their wares in hopes of selling us something. The gardens are bright and filled with colorful flowers.
It is time to travel on. We will continue todays story in the next Blog post!