I´ve made my way from Arequipa to Puno. I made a few friends the last day that I was in Arequipa, one of which was a police officer who gave me a good understanding of the Peruvian police force. Initially, all seemed normal, as the policeman kicked a guy out of the bar for singing too loud, and then made another leave because he was smoking too close to a woman. At that point, he may have tired of his duties, as he became interested in posing for pictures…
And then allowing random foreigners to pose for pictures in part of his uniform…
And next became very tired and decided to catch a few zzzz´s on the barstool…
I guess the good part is that there wasn´t any violent crime occurring so that he would need to be awake??
My bus ride to Puno had less picturesque scenes than the one to Arequipa, but did have a few pretty moments, just the same. To whit:
Today I got to see a parade that included a marching band and school children in the main square here in Puno.
I bought a decent hand mirror from a woman on the street today, and it was marked for 1 sol, which is equal to about 33 cents. I gave her 5 soles, and when she went to give me change, I told her not to worry about it. She looked so amazingly happy. Many people here are so poor and have so little. It´s unbelievable the small amount of money that they are able live off of. But, many seem so happy, at the same time.
I like Peru, and I´m already getting sad about having to leave. Tomorrow, I´m taking a boat out to the Uros and Taquile Islands on Lake Titicaca. I´m looking forward to it, and also preparing myself to be out of breath whilst walking up the steps on Taquile… I have a serious case of altitude sickness at this 12,000+ feet. The good thing is that Cusco is a little lower elevation, so I´ll be acclimatized and ready for my Machu Picchu trek by the time I leave Puno.
So far so good for this white girl in Peru. I had a bit of good luck to start my trip. I sat next to a great Peruvian woman from San Antonio, Sabrina, and her son on the plane ride into Lima. After our flight landed at 10:30pm, I ended up going with Sabrina and Jason and their cousins to another one of Sabrina´s cousins´60th birthday party. It was awesome. They sang, they danced, they sat around in a circle and told jokes, and they served awesome food. It was a good thing to see the Peruvian culture first-hand from the get-go. Very nice people; it was refreshing to see such a large group of family members gathered together, having fun, being close. I was super tired when I finally got to my hostel after 3am.
Thanks to my new friend Nadia who took pictures
Yes, this was taken from my bus window.