22 february Puno (PERU')

The alarm rings early in placid island of Amantani. The rays of a hot sun filter through the thin window overlooking the road to Pachamama.
It has been cold here tonight because there are no heaters...

I look out the window, some lady occasionally passes, they are plump and colorful dressed; many are wearing a long black veil. The nearest town is Puno, three hours of sailing on Titicaca, many islanders have never left this island!

Many ask us where we were from and I used to answer asking them if they knew where Italy was located. No one knew!

Eventually we board and after half an hour of navigation, on rough waters of the lake, we dock to the small island of Taquile.

There is a path that goes up and takes you to the charming main square, it looks like a small Tibet! Despite being so close to the big island of Amantani, the local community has traditions and customs totally different!
According to the colors of the hats of the men you can understand if they are married or not; same goes for women: if you're looking wife, aim at those with pom poms along the big skirts: they are singles!

Meanwhile, the Titicaca has calmed down and the three hours sailing becomes quite pleasant! What a shame that we do caught unprepared by a strong sun that comes out suddenly and almost 4000 meters harms many burned!

The day is long, we head to Sillustani. Inka archaeological site, contains many tombs of this ancient and mysterious civilization.
The tombs are stone, majestic and have a small door because, according to local beliefs, with the sunrise soul reborn!

We go back to the hotel and I find a message by Yuri and Stefano that informs us they are in a clinic in Puno... No Panic… ok panic! ;-)

Stefy, Chiara and Elena go and check, accompanied by the ambulance.

In the evening the situation seems better but Dr.Luz, the Bolivian responsible, prefers to keep them all night under observation...

Outside the carnival celebrations is going crazy, children and teens are struggling with shaving foam, couples of all ages in traditional dress are dancing along all the main streets of Puno...

After dinner I reach our patients in the clinic but I find out that till tomorrow but there is nothing to do, they can not be discharged... I’m a bit worried because tomorrow morning we will leave Peru to Bolivia...

Let’s go and sleep! Let’s update tomorrow morning at 5:45.

23 february La Paz (BOLIVIA)

We are ready to go and still no news about our two friends from the clinic...
Our bus is ready to leave just when an ambulance, in the distance, comes out!

Here are our friends "bruised" but ready to continue this wonderful journey together!

In an old public bus we leave the city behind and along the Titicaca Lake, we head Kasani: border between Peru and Bolivia.

Entry formalities are very slow, and the police do not seem very cooperative, we even pay for the the immigration forms! Absurd!

[Stefy]: "We go to La Paz immersed in its chaos without rules, anywhere cars, vans, people, women from black bowler on the roadside selling fruit and vegetables... we settle at the Sagarnaga Hotel, right in the city center!"

24 february La Paz (BOLIVIA)

[Stefy]: "We depart early in the morning to the Valley of the Moon. The sky is clear, the sun is hot and the air chilly... no name was more appropriate for this lunar landscape very similar to Cappadocia!

In the late morning we cross La Paz and it takes us more than three quarters of an hour ... we are headed to the majestic Chacaltaya Glacier. The road begins to climb and here are the first precipices ...  twenty minutes later we reach 5335 meters altitude! The view is stunning!

I drink a coca mate in the shelter and we meet Adolfo, the guardian who lives there day and night...

We return to La Paz and we pack our backpacks for the next three days in Salares; in the late afternoon we depart, from the bus terminal, towards the south of Bolivia: Uyuni.

We will travel all night long!"



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