The ride to Cuzco was lovely. Shortly after leaving Copacabana, our home for five days, we crossed the border into Peru, our third country in South America. Unfortunately there was a huge line of bus denizens waiting to enter Bolivia and since there was not a separate line for leaving that country we were forced to spend nearly two hours waiting to get stamped out. Thankfully, there was no line up at the Peruvian border and the formalities took a mere five minutes.
We are still cycling with De Dutch, Ellen and Elmar, and decided we would spend a couple of nights in Puno to visited Uros, a collection of floating reed islands. The lives of the Uru people are all about the reeds. They make their islands, homes and who knows what else from the reeds. They subside mainly on fishing rainbow trout, imported from Canada in 1940 and now prevalent throughout Lake Titicaca, as well as selling crafts to the numerous tourists who visit some of the islands each year.
We left the shores of Lake Titicaca and for five days rode through the countryside northwest of South America’s largest lake. It slowly tilted upwards as we climbed to Araya Pass and then descended into Cuzco.
We camped along the way every night beside rivers and even in the back fourty of a restaurant on the outskirts of Sicuani where overflowing irrigation ditches threatened to flush us out. A little engineering work by us to run the water off beyond our tents ensured a dry night.
After five days cycling from Puno, we entered the legendary city of Cuzco, the centre of Peru’s tourism industry where the masses gather for excursions to Machu Picchu. Since we’re here, we thought we would go have a look to see what all the fuss is about.