Rest Day – Puno

 

Rest Day – more on that later – it never seems to work out that way but it does stop the chase from one point to the next.

As previously mentioned, our hotel, the Libertador was just lovely – would have been nice to stay here for a while.

 

And as the sign right at the door indicated, it was indeed a five star accommodation, especially for this part of the world.

 

This was the view of Puno we saw out our window when we woke up – Puno sits on a bay off the main part of Lake Titicaca.

 

The first order of business on any “Rest Day” is usually car repairs. Some go at it all day and others find a bit of time to see some of the area attractions. That is generally determined by the overall condition of the car. If you don’t see a car you are looking for below, it probably hasn’t arrived and is no longer competing. These shots were taken first thing in the morning so much of the work has yet to begin.

 

Now for the local attraction – Puno is quite famous for its floating islands which are only reached by boat. We chose play before work today – maybe a mistake. The islands are reached by boats which looked a good deal like a double decker Venetian Water Taxi.

 

We passed right by the hotel so we got to see it from the water – pretty good size facility.

 

Thor Heyerdahl had come to this area to consult and learn from the natives the construction techniques used to build Kon-Tiki which he then proceeded to sail across the Pacific. The natives still built these boats today – this one being an example of the two story model.

 

Of course, every tourist adventure has its focal point. There were many of these floating islands and, no surprise, each one had a tour boat tied up to shore. When we stepped off the boat, the first sight we were greeted with was two children playing inside their house / hut.

 

Each island is a separate community and here we have the island’s President (on the left) explaining what they do on a daily basis – entertaining tourists (no he didn’t actually say that but that is the truth). These islanders have their own language and preceded the Incas – the guide (on the right) is translating into English and Spanish for us tourists. I listened to the English version.

 

Here the “Pres.” is explaining that they must constantly add new layers of reeds to the surface of the island to keep it from sinking.

 

The ladies, each of whom were introduced by name, appeared to be very busy with their crafts which, no surprise, they were preparing to sell. More than one of us felt the merchandise was all imported from China – but it was very colorful.

 

Couldn’t help take a picture of these two children – hope they were happier than they looked.

 

Everyone was in a big rush to get back to the hotel so we arranged to be dropped off at the hotel’s dock. The only problem here was the 200 steps to get back to hotel itself – it was a long climb especially at 13,000 feet.

 

We had found a local garage that had lifts and mechanics available to help with whatever you needed. This required a trip downtown provided more local color. These little taxis along with the usual mini vans provide motorized transportation.

 

Probably for less money and for shorter distances, these pedal “rickshaws” are also available.

 

Without regard to the form of transportation chosen, the streets are very crowded.

 

And right across the street from the garage was the street vendor’s stand and vehicle.

 

Up on the lift for an oil change and full suspension lubrication – that is Lloyd supervising but the man doing the work was excellent.

 

Next came the wash – if this had been a beauty salon, it would have been the full spa treatment.

 

They even cleaned the engine compartment …

 

Unfortunately, when we went to leave, Lloyd discovered an electrical problem which we worked on until after dark. It remains to be seen how this might affect our future performance.

For a bit of good news, Lloyd managed to fix my camera so now we have photographic backup and I will be able to publish the missing day – stay tuned.

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