IMG 0084Due to the early start we discover the opening hours of the breakfast room at the Hacienda Plaza. Allegedly 6am that's when they start scratching around to find things. Bonus, Mariza, our guide for the day arrives at 6:10, agitating to go. Anyway a scurry around and we are off, only to have to wait at the next hotel as they too were on target, sort of, for 6:30.

The bus trip (an assortment of 6 Israelis, 4 Japanese, a Spaniard and an indeterminate couple) set off to Copacabana, no not the one with the beach but one on Lake Titicaca. Mariza keeps a an interesting monologue of information about the people, customs, place and the like.

The big event is the border crossing which is straight forward to get out of Peru - visit police for stamp on immigration card, visit Immigration Control to check police have stamped immigration card. No more than half an hour of queuing.

Bolivia on the other hand have streamlined the process with one desk, actually two, with a new computer system here in the back of beyond. Needless to say the queue is horrific. And pointless as nothing actually prevents you from walking across which one couple had done the previous day and had returned this morning before the tour buses arrive to get their card. In all I think over 2 hours, Heaven knows what happens if it rains as the queue is entirely outdoors, I bet I can guess and it's not pretty.

 

IMG 0083The afternoon is a cruise on the lake and a walk around Sun Island which is very interesting, Lots to see including a faith healer type chap and of course the obligatory street vendors. The Spaniard contrives to be sick on the on a dead calm lake. The smell of cleaning chemicals in a confined space is not the greatest. 

Our Guide, Grace is a great joker having us dress as incas and row the tourist boat. 

The drive from the lake through El Alto (the adjacent city to La Paz) was horrific. Slow, traffic and dirt everywhere, it's a nightmare place. Finally we escape and arrive just after 8pm.

IMG 0082The Europa hotel in La Paz is a modern upmarket place but astoundingly not only are there people smoking in the lobby (ugh!) but there are also matches and an ashtray in our room. Otherwise the room is fine and a basic dinner in the hotel, there's nothing left to go out.

I was wrong about Puno being a dump. We just had not seen La Paz.