08.05.2011 - 13.05.2011 19 °C
We flew back from Rurre and jumped straight on a bus for Puno, just across the Peruvian border on Lake Titicaca. It was a mess getting through immigration into Peru, but after a lot of waiting and confusion we were in. We didn´t want to waste a lot of time in Puno since its not the most beautiful place, so we booked a tour to spend 2 days on Amantani- an island on Lake Titicaca with almost no development- no hotels, only one restaurant. Mirja had been feeling the effects of altitude since arriving back in La Paz, and it got worse as time passed. The wavy boat ride didn´t help. I was dealing with altitude a little bit better and was able to climb up to the top of the island where there is an Incan temple and stayed there for the sunset.
After dinner I soon grew sicker than Mirja with a nasty case of food poisoning. We were staying at a locals house with only a pit toilet, so it wasn´t the ideal place to be really sick. The local family will probably think twice before hosting westerners again. The next morning we cut our tour short and caught a local boat back to Puno, then checked into a nice hotel and just relaxed all day by watching TV.
On Wed morning we took a bus to Cusco- the gringo capital of South America. In the town center there are far more white people than locals. The town is the base for going to Machu Picchu and is filled with ancient Inca walls and ruins as well as plenty of colonial Spanish churches, not to mention amazing cafes and restaurants. We just relaxed for a couple of days to fully recover and sample some of the wonderful eateries.
Tomorrow we´re starting a trek through the Andes and will get to Machu Picchu eventually. We can´t do the Inca trail because its heavily regulated and booked out until August, so we are doing the possibly more scenic Salkantay trek.