May 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
Next stop on Lake Titicaca: Llachón.
After four days of mandatory rest in Puno, finally leaving this cluttered city was not too much fun. First, I tried asking for a collectivo boat for Llachón at the port, but they just laughed at me and told me that it doesn’t exist (not true! I’ve read blogs that prove me otherwise!).
So, I started walking with my four, heavy bags (how did this happen? I started out with one, regular-weight backpack and a purse, and all of a sudden, I have turned into some kind of quadruple-humped camel. Is it all of the winter clothing you need at 4,000 meter elevation? Or the few liters of water and pounds of fruit that become mandatory for little-town travel? Whatever it is, walking with all of this weight isn’t fun) uptown, as I heard that there are collectivo cars north of some intersection, next to some former market. Upon getting to this made-up, unnamed intersection, surrounded by dozens of honking cars and my bladder full from the last two bottles of Gatorade I chugged before leaving the hostel and my head still kind of spinning, I was about to give up and just take a taxi to the bus terminal and run away to Bolivia.
Instead, a random car pulls up and asks me if I wanted a lift to Capachica. There were three other people in the car, and Capachica was en route to Llachón, so I jumped in.
An hour later, I arrive in Capachica, and get herded into another van that goes to Llachón. Keeping me company were twenty very chipper (and elegant, for this part of the world) ladies, that kind of reminded me of the geese at the end of The Aristocats. Imagine being surrounded by twenty of them, all poking at you with bread and clementines and squealing at the sea.
Upon getting to Llachón, I found the entire town (er, the half dozen houses it consists of) completely deserted. After some poking around, I did manage to find an old lady, who tentatively pointed me in the direction of plausible hospedajes. She told me to ask for Félix.
So, I begin the hike downhill, with all 8137410 lbs. of luggage. After a few minutes, I run into the famous Félix, who helps me the rest of the way to his beautiful house perched on a cliff overlooking the blue, blue Lake Titicaca. And, all of sudden, every step between Puno and that doorstep was worth it.
My three days in Llachón were rather uneventful, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Strolls on the beach, wanderings through the hilly roads, hikes up the highest point over the lake, and the ability to watch the sun rise and set over/into the water from my bed.
The Capachica Peninsula is a quaint and quiet little strip of land: greens, blues, cold nights, and trout.
No cars, only a couple of dogs that don’t bark, and native women that lower their gaze as you walk by, yet offer a warm buenos dias.
Men (farmers, fishermen, donkey-herders) that offer you their hand and don’t let go of it until the friendly conversation in the middle of the road is finished.
Cows that come up and lick you, chickens that scramble over your feet, and birds that are fearless.
And sheep. Lots and lots of sheep. I think that I have gotten rather attached to them. Awkward, funny creatures.
My second day there, I hiked up to the Inca Carus, which had some amazing views, of both the island and the Lake Titicaca surroundings.
Ironically enough, at this high-to-reach place, I found a group of twenty German tourists (the only non-natives I saw during my stay), who politely asked me to take twenty identical pictures of them. In return, they offered me a silboat ride.
Other than that, I would just gaze at the water and be amazed at how blue it is:
And how clear it is (what a contrast from Puno!):
And converse with the fishermen, using a weird mixture of various languages and gestures:
And hop up and down all of the labyrinth dirt paths that crossed over the island:
And then, rush to bed as soon as the sun came down, put on two dozens layers (ie: all of the 2834791 lbs. that I carried there), roll up under four big alpaca blankets, and stare at the moon from my window and try not to freeze to death.