Getting out of Cusco, means a lot of traffic. I’m pretty happy once I pass by the airport and leave the city behind me. The terrain I now have in front of me is way easier than what I had to cycle through most of my time in Peru. It’s still not flat, but the climbs are significantly shorter now which allows me to cover still a very good distance despite my traditional late departure.
Getting to Puno, my first stop at the Titicaca lake, takes me four days. Initially I had planned to take the route via the north / east short in Bolivia, but due to my time constraint I decided to go the more touristic route via Puno and Copacabana which is shorter and also easier to ride. In Puno I do a day tour to the floating islands of the Uros and the island of Taquile.
The next day I ride in one stretch to Copacabana. Around late afternoon I still have quite a distance to cover and the sky is already turning dark. It seems that a severe thunderstorm is about to start any moment. In the distance I can already see lightning which puts me in the dilemma of either stopping and pitching the tent for the night or continuing with risk of getting wet and being out in thunderstorm but having the comfort (and safety) of hotel room for the night. I’ve spent a few nights in the tent during a thunderstorm and this is no fun in the Andes – especially when you are pretty exposed. I watch the horizon closely and decide to continue and luckily I reach Copacabana safely and dry. The thunderstorm hits Copacabana during the night and when I get up in the morning it is still raining with some lightning in the far distance. Today I’m doing a tour to the Isla del Sol. The first hours on the island are pretty wet but when the sun finally breaks through the clouds it actually becomes a very warm and beautiful day. On the island are quite some Inca ruins to visit, but unfortunately there’s a two-year long dispute between the northern and southern part of the island with the result that you’re only allowed to visit the (smaller) southern part of the island.