03-30-2013, 04:02 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Mar 11 To Puno
Very relaxing ride to Puno retracing my steps all the way through the little town of Imata (The cold rainy night) and on to Juliaca. Big sweeping corners rising from 8000 feet to 14000+ feet on the Altiplano. Saw my first snow capped volcano before I even got out of Arequipa
and for most of the first part of today’s trip we usually had one or more snow-capped volcanoes in view.
As I was sitting on my bike taking a picture of this mountain, some German tourist walks up, grabs my camera and took a pic for me
Came across some more Vicuña
Fairly busy road with the odd bus and truck to pass. A few convoys which are pretty easy to get around on grades. Their loads are many times oversized and so heavy, they are lucky to be doing 5 mph up those hills.
Stopped in a little town for lunch. Had the usual "Menu" of soup
and pork and rice
this is great food when riding at altitude - filling, tasty and cheap (about $3). Some of the locals at a table across from me. Notice how they are all pretty well looking away from me when they saw me grabbing my camera.
Got to the city of Juliaca just north of Puno. For some reason my trusty GPS decided to take me the long way round for a change rather finding shortcuts through residential neighborhoods. This time, the highway was the short way. It stuck me on this main city road that was two lanes of traffic more or less each way and was packed solid with cars, taxis, trucks and buses competing with each other in a melee of typical Peruvian driving. There were vendors lining the street, cars parked every which way and the street was solid pot holes. Some of them I could have turned around in. This went on for about 10 km of stop and go. I had one advantage over the larger vehicles in that I could ride through the pot holes rather than try to get around them, kind like riding whoops.
Found my hotel easily in Puno, San Antonio Suites. Decent place. At first the girl wanted me to park in a storage ally that was locked and next to the hotel. Looked a little tight to me and since there was lightning crashing all over the place, I told her I’d deal with it when the thunderstorm finished. Guy shows up after the storm and tells me we can get through the lobby into the courtyard in the back. Much better. Huge step to get up into the lobby. I’m getting better at this stuff. It wasn’t that long ago and I was freaking out about a 4” curb.
Went to a great restaurant recommended by the hotel. Had a Pisco Sour which is kind of like a Margarita except they make it with Pisco which is the national booze of Peru. It is fermented grape juice (wine) that is then distilled. This was the best Pisco Sour I had had. Have to be careful as I could easily get just as silly on these things as Margaritas.
This was called Rocoto Relleno - stuffed hot pepper. It was delicious!