The day again started off well. I continued towards Puno with a fresh light breeze behind me. I passed by Icy lakes reflecting the surrounding mountains filled with flocks of Flamingoes, Large herds of Lamas grazing in the warm sun, and many cows and donkeys doing their thing in the surrounding grassy fiends lining the road.

flamingoes

Flamingoes

Lamas as far as the eye could see

Lamas as far as the eye could see

It was a long road to Juliaca and I kept on recalculating how long it would take me to get there in my head. I was holding a decent pace but  I knew I needed to to make it before dark.

The long road ahead

The long road ahead

Eventually the roads began to get busy and the road surface turned to dirt. I had arrived in Juliaca.

The perfectly paved roads of Juliaca

The perfectly paved roads of Juliaca

The next morning as I was getting a fresh juice in preparation for the final 44km into Puno, a 65 year old Japanese bloke named Shima, rolled up on his bike.

Morning juice

Morning juice

He had basically ridden the same route I had and was on his way to Puno also. After a quick chat we were off, This time at a much more relaxed pace but It didn’t matter as it was such a short day.

Shima and I heading towards Puno

Shima and I heading towards Puno

We continued along the relatively flat road for about 30km until it was hill time again. As we ascended, we got out first glimpse of Lago Titicaca. We stopped for some very traditional Japanese photos then continued up the narrow road crossing from side to side to find the most shoulder to ride on.

Out first sighting of Lake Titicaca

Out first sighting of Lake Titicaca

Eventually we made it to the top and found a little restaurant for lunch. Soup, beef, rice, potato and a drink all for just s/3.50, (about Au$1.50) what a bargain.

Bargain Lunch

Bargain Lunch

As we descended into Puno we stopped for some more photos and eventually rolled into town surrounded by trucks, busses, cars, and bikes all beeping and edging their way through each intersection. After some looking we found a hostel which came highly recommended in a Japanese travel book. 

We made it to Puno

We made it to Puno

The next day Shima and I went on a boat to explore some of the Islands on the Lake. The lake is enormous! It’s 58,000km2, with a maximum depth of 281m, (I didn’t learn this from our guide as his english wasn’t too amazing so if its wrong blame Wikipedia). 

Lago Titicaca

Lago Titicaca

We visited the man made floating Island of Uros, which was made years ago so the local people could keep there distance from the more violent Inkas. They continually weave special reeds to keep the island afloat.

Floating Island Uros

Floating Island Uros

We then headed to the larger Island of Taquile where we had lunch and watched some traditional dancing and were encouraged to by some locally made hats and scarfs.

Taquile Island

Taquile Island

Local dance

Local dance

After the islands we returned to the mainland where we visited one of the 500 Pizza shops for pizza and a few beers. 

Pizza

Pizza

The next morning Shima was sick with gastro and had the ambulance visit and put him on a drip. He couldn’t even muster the energy for a peace sign for the photo so I knew he wasn’t faking it!

Not so well Shima

Not so well Shima

So here I am resting up, as Shima is fed by a drip. The plan was to head to Copacabana in Bolivia tomorrow with Shima but I guess that depends on how he is feeling. I don’t want to leave it too long as I still have a fair distance to ride and a few things I want to see and do before my return flight from Arica.