Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 17, 2014, Good bye Peru, Hello Bolivia

It’s time to move on again, destination Puno but when we arrive we find a city in total disrepair and decide to travel further south along Lake Titicaca. The first hotel is out of our budget and we find a hostel run by an elderly couple, it’s clean, it’s in the country surrounded by farms so it should be quiet and we get a home cooked meal of rice, ground beef and vegetables. The downside is there is no hot water or heater and the temperature is 5 degrees C, we get a few extra blankets and climb into bed right after supper in order to stay warm. For breakfast we are served quinoa with warm milk, buns with jam and tea. Before we depart they ask to take some photos of us on the bike in front of the hostel so they can put our photo on their web site.
 Herders hut in the foothills of southern Peru.
 Lake Titicaca in the background.
 Lake Titicaca, at the southern end of Peru is the worlds largest high altitude lake at 3808 meters and 8400 square kilometers.

 The plan is to cross the Bolivian border today; it’s a cold ride and within an hour we run into an inch of snow on the road but, fortunately it didn’t last long. We arrive at the border and get through both Peruvian and Bolivian immigration and customs in less than an hour; it was one of the easiest crossings we have experienced. We no sooner get across the border and get attacked by dogs on six different occasions, all of which are full size dogs like labs. We make a run for La Paz and get stopped by the police twice, both policemen are pleasant and they just want to look at our importation documents for the bike. We’re on our way but only after telling them of our travels from Canada.
 The following are views from our hotel room in La Paz, Bolivia.
Mount Illimani at 6402 meters
 La Paz is only 1.5 million people but it seems like all of them are on the streets and jay walking is a national past time. We don’t have GPS maps for Bolivia so once again we are driving blindly and need to ask the locals for directions. After an hour of searching for a hotel we decide to blow the budget and check into the Radisson Hotel for a couple of nights.
Took the bike to BMW to have an oil change and get four other items fixed. After 3-1/2 hours and $240 I leave with only an oil change that should have taken less than an hour. Pretty much the same work ethic as Panama, everyone walks around looking busy but nothing gets accomplished. The service manager (the only person who speaks English) disappears just minutes before the bill is presented to me.


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