After an early start to make the border crossing into Argentina we arrived at 8.30am to get into the queue. We started to wait on the bridge along with all the locals, we saw the Tucan truck in front who had been waiting 1.5 hours before us and they were not near the front. The sun started to beam down on us and the queue was not moving at all, it started to feel like this would be a long day. Apparently 3.5 hours is reasonable wait so that’s what we expected. Stu and some of the others went to change money whilst we waited, you can get a much better rate in Bolivia than we would get in Argentina for pesos – say no more!
Unfortunately Boxing Day was drive day, most of us got a good few hours sleep on Frida (the truck) and I managed to finish my book “Marching Power”, what a book! It was about a 10 hour drive, eating left over Christmas dinner when we stopped for lunch and arriving in Potosi, the highest city of its size in the world and the high altitude continues. The beauty of drive days is always the scenery, the countries being so large means miles of swerving roads through vast mountain range.
When we finally woke up, I let Stu have a lie in until about 7.30am, Christmas was in full flow in the UK. We managed to get some internet connection to Skype everyone at home, which was really nice. It started to make it feel a little like Christmas but sadly it will never be real Christmas when we are sat in a hotel lobby in the middle of La Paz, cars beeping frantically outside, the sun shining and the market stalls still chaotic.
It was decided that I should write about this as I loved it, for Chloe it was a tick in the box and I don’t think she’ll be getting back on a bike for a while. Thankfully we can write about this now that we have told everybody that we’ve done it and have come out unscathed.
The border crossing into Bolivia was surreal, after stamping out of Peru we walked over the bridge that separates the 2 countries and entered into a typical South American market place, we could easily have entered the country without going through border control, but we found the little building located in the middle of the markets and got our next stamp, welcome to Bolivia – bienvenidos Bolivia!
Puno, the last stop in Peru and a pretty long drive before we arrived. This is where the port is located on Lake Titicaca, there’s not much else to say about Puno. We headed out and grabbed a really cheap but delicious and massive Chinese, we will definitely be coming back here (and we did!).
Arriving late afternoon in Cusco allowed us time to familiarise ourselves with a place we loved so much last time, although this time a little wetter, the only plan of action was to ready ourselves for the long hike on the Lares Trek to Machu Picchu, we also thought that Paragliding through the Sacred Valley would be pretty amazing, so we decided to do that too. As with all travel adventures, paragliding did not fail to deliver some stories of its own!
Feeling fresh and revitalised, apart from the manic food shop and a 40 minute taxi drive that nearly made my cook group delay our departure, with roads being closed due to the changing of the guards, we shoved the food in the truck and left for a long, desert view drive south to Paracus, to be specific “Reserva Nacional De Paracas.”