Safari in the Pampas and Touring Titikaka

Sunday, October 19, 2014
Puno, Peru

After so much traveling in order to get back to La Paz we were all very pleased to have a peaceful afternoon off, followed by a delicious meal at a Mexican restaurant .

The next day was a rather early start, leaving at 5am to catch a plane to Rurrenebaque. The plane happened to only have 19 seats and that meant it couldn´t deal so well with turbulence! With a large number of the group feeling plane sick it was fortunate that no one was actually sick. We landed in Rurrenebaque and were shocked by not only the immense heat but also what could be one of the world´s smallest airports with only one room!

We headed straight into the rainforest and immediately spotted a Cayman Alligator right next to our boat. On our trip to the cabins, in which we stayed two nights, we realised that the alligator was not a rare sighting and that the waters were infested by them.

Thankfully we were welcomed to our new home with a fantastic meal from our cook who happened to be less pushy over finishing all the soup than our Uyuni cook!

We had a good game of volleyball in a local field whilst watching the sunset and then had a night-time boat trip back to the cabins . We got to see the orange eyes of the Caymans in our flashlights along with plenty of bats and one piranha which decided it would be fun to jump into our boat!

The next morning we headed out to the Pampas to search for snakes. We unfortunately came back empty handed. I thought it was a bit like trying to search for golf balls in powder snow. In the afternoon we went Piranha fishing and came back with a few fish which were big enough for dinner. Fortunately, that evening Ryan came across a venomous snake whilst we were making a fire so we weren´t completely empty-handed!

The final day in the jungle we awoke to watch a red sunrise and go bird watching. Some of us were lucky to see Toucans at the cabins but in the end a lot of us managed to see a Toucan at the refreshing swimming pool back in Rurrenebaque on our day off the next day.

After breakfast we headed out to find Pink River Dolphins and we went swimming with them – only after our guide assured us that we would not be eaten by Alligators and bitten by Piranhas .

The journey back to Rurrenebaque turned into a fun game of human jenga as there were a lot of us cramped into the back of a minivan. After a well-earned day of relaxation we flew back to La Paz and were relieved by the fresh non-humid air.

We went straight away to the Tiahuanaco pre-Incan ruins where I would say our guide nearly spoke English!

By the end of the day we found ourselves in Copacabana. Until our coach journey to Puno, Peru the next day we had free time to explore in which many of us went in search of sugar-coated peanuts. In Puno coincidentally we twice bumped into a couple which Geoff had been talking to at the border crossing into Peru.

Puno was where we set off for our two day trip in Lago (Lake) Titikaka - pronounced ‘Titihaha’ according to our guide. First we visited the Uros - floating man-made islands which were made of dried reeds.

Then we headed to Amantaní island where we hiked to the Pachamama peak to watch the sunset. We lived with islanders eating traditional meals which happened to be very carb-heavy. In the evening we attended a fiesta in traditional island clothes. After the one night homestay we visited Taquile island which is famous for its textiles. The restaurant that we ate at had the most spectacular views of the lake and the peninsula. We then descended 540 steps down to the dock to return to Puno.