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downundergal Puno - A travel report by Kerrie
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Puno,  Peru - flag Peru -  Puno
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downundergal's travel reports

Puno and Lake Titicaca

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Puno travelogue picture
Puno situated on the edge of the vast Lake Titicaca receives heaps of negative press but although it's not the most attractive spot in the world it's not that bad!
It is a convenient starting point to visit the various islands on the lake such as Taquile and the Uros Islands or as a rest stop before continuing on to Bolivia, Cusco or Arequipa.

Favourite spots:
Puno travelogue picture
The regulatory day trip out on to the islands is the main thing to do. If you really want to soak up the atmosphere you can stay overnight on Taquile but be warned everyone we met that did this had a tummy bug the next few days. The standard day trip is for 10 hours and a lot of that time is spent travelling. The Uros Islands are made of the local tortura reeds replaced as the older ones rotted over time. The sensation of stepping on to them is quite squishy and they are quite small. I thought that they were a bit like a zoo but we were assured it was not just for the tourists and that people actually did live on them.

What's really great:
Puno travelogue picture
The island of Taquile was much more interesting in my opinion as the island is run as a co-operative by the locals along with their own system of government.This ruling body was made up of married men from the island and is done on a rotating basis. Should you not be lucky enough to get hitched; no position and if you are a woman no chance. Also on this island there is a role reversal and the poor old women are the ones that do all the hard work while the men sit around all day knitting wooly caps and stuff and swap cocoa leaves. They really have the good life!

Puno travelogue picture
We stayed at Hostal Marguarita which was well located one block from Parque Pino and near Jr Lime the main restaurant strip. The bed was comfortable and there was lots of warm blankets as it gets really cold here at night. The bathroom was new and nicely tiled and the best thing 24 hour hot water and non electric showers!!! Their advertised price was $45US but we only paid about $12 for a double. The family that runs it is welcoming and will with prior notice do a good breakfast for about a $1.50.

Puno travelogue picture
La Hosteria Pizzeria is not the cheapest place around but the food and service was really good. It was also busy with a lot of Peruvian people dining there, always a good sign. We had their pizza, not very local but it was really good.
Pastelleria Uno in the mall was our favourite bakery, good to stock up with for supplies in those long bus journeys so that you are not at the mercy of the locals vendors who board the bus chopping up llama carcasses.
We did also try llama at another restaurant in town. It did not do it for me, it was a cross between veal and venison but quite pungent. And the thought of guineapig con or sin cabeza (with or without its poor little head) I couldn't even think of doing that!

Other recommendations:
Puno travelogue picture
When you are dropped off at Taquile Island make sure you understand where your boat will be leaving from. The day that we went out we lost a Brit and Swede on the island and picked up two Germans that had been left there previously!
We were also caught in a major transport strike whilst here so always make sure your timetable is fairly loose as we were stuck here literally for an extra two days. We had thought of getting a taxi out but thay had blockaded the roads! Ths is the same in all of Peru and also Bolivia.

Published on Wednesday October 2th, 2002

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