Back on the bus for another day of traveling, and again we use the reputable Cruz del Sur bus company. Some research into standards of travel, accident statistics and general traveler reviews of Peruvian bus companies leads to think that other options are just not worth considering for the modest cost saving.
However as the journey is only a mere 6 and half hours through the day we forgo the VIP seats with their wide leather comfort and touch screen entertainment systems and turn right when we get on the bus to head upstairs to the cheap seats.
Still luxurious by my experience of UK coaches, but you can see what the extra fare cost gets you. We have narrower seats that recline less and have to watch whatever is on one of the TVs hanging from the roof. Still a good way to travel round the country if you can spare the time, and cheaper than air travel.
With the lunch on the bus I gamble and try the local soft drink, Inca Kola. A luminous yellow coloured soft drink with a taste and smell reminiscent of the stuff dentists give you to wash your mouth out with. Perhaps not an experiment I will repeat.
Arrival in Puno is a bit of a shock compared to what we have seen of Peru to date. It’s far cry from the developed western style of Lima, or the colonial splendour of Arequipa. Instead it is far closer to areas we saw in Boliva i.e. Uyuni and the non-historical parts of Sucre and Potosi. Perhaps not surprising given that this part of Peru is extremely close to the border with Bolivia, and once again we see a town of crumbling and half completed buildings, very few of which have any architectural merit.
Given this fact perhaps it is a surprise that is it full of tourists and the associated restaurants, hostels, taxis etc that sprout up on the traveller routes. Why? Because it is the major Peruvian conurbation on the banks of Lake Titicaca, and this is the main point from which you visit the lake (and potentially cross the border to Bolivia and on to La Paz).
We are no different. So we take it slow as we are back at an altitude of 3850m and get ready for tomorrow for a trip to the lake.