Today was the last full day of my trip. Yesterday was a little wild as I changed my plans to stay in Cuzco an extra day instead of heading straight to Puno and then received a call that my night flight from Puno to Lima had been cancelled tomorrow because they are closing down the airport. A couple of weeks ago, the airport in Puno suffered minor damage due to some strikes and they chose tomorrow night to work on it. After a quick dinner with my new American friends, Wah and Ines from my trek, (nothing like closing out the your stay in Cuzco with a little pizza-haha), I raced back to my hotel just in time to pick up some laundry I needed to have washed and hopped on the overnight bus to Puno. I was lucky enough to sit next to a really nice woman named Gloria, an lawyer from Puno travelling back home after visiting Machu Picchu with her two young daughters. We talked about the book I´ve been carrying around the entire trip and finished today on the 3 hour boat ride back across Lake Titicaca, The Help (thank you Srta. Bandera!!!), and she told me all about Puno. When we arrived at 4:30 this morning, she gave me her business card, a handfull of coca leaves for the altitude to chew, and told me not to hesitate to call her if I needed anything or just felt a little lonely. It was so incredibly sweet.
After a quick stop in the hotel where I found an old episode of the American TV show Dawson´s Creek to fall asleep to for an hour, I was picked up and taken to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigatable lake in the world. I´ll have to talk about this portion of my trip later when I am home and can upload the pictures because this experience was absolutely unbelievable. No one is ever going to believe the things I saw today.
I´m back at the hotel now and exhausted. I bought some last minute gifts in Puno and ate dinner. I thought for a minute that since it might be my last official dinner in Peru that I should just go for it, but, man, I just couldn´t order the cuy (large guinea pig) nor the alpaca. It was a great meal nonetheless. As I type this, I am absolutely freezing to death. I have now mastered wearing everything I brought in my mochila roja y negra all at once. I have two shirts on, a North Face fleece, a jacket, a scarf, jeans, two pairs of socks, a mismatched hat and gloves. I fit in with everyone else here, but couldn´t look more bizarre. Despite caking on the sunblock throughout the trip, my pale Scandanavian skin has been no match for these Peruvian rays, and now my entire face is peeling. That is, except for the two white circles I have around my eyes from my sunglasses (now on my third pair after breaking the first two). My fingers are numb and all I want to do right now is crawl into my sleeping bag (with everything that I´m currently wearing minus the sneakers) and watch the rest of the Copa Mundial-Uruguay vs. Mexico.
Tomorrow I take a flight from Puno to Lima in the early afternoon, then around midnight I´ll fly from Lima to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Newark, then take a train from Newark to Philly on Thursday, followed by the regional rail from 30th Street Station to 4 blocks from my house. Haha. What a 24 hours it will be...
As I´ve had limited access along the way to upload photos and comment in a consistent fashion, I´ve decided that when I get home, I will blog about different topics-the different people I´ve met along the way, the food, the trek, the Uros...etc.
Stay tuned (and forgive my spelling on this Spanish-only spell-check option for this blog here)! :)