Monday 1st July
We took a walk out of town along Lake Titicaca with no particular goal in mind, and just talked: about life, our travels and future plans. When we got back to town it was time for lunch, then a café break and some work. In the evening, we splashed out for our last dinner in Bolivia, paying a whole £11 between us!
Tuesday 2nd July
After splashing out on breakfast, we packed and checked out of our hostel to visit the Poncho Museum, where Zab really enjoyed learning about the history and manufacturing of ponchos. After lunch, we caught our bus to Puno, in Peru, which went very smoothly. On arrival, we enlisted two other travellers to come to our hostel, where we were given a very warm welcome. A few necessary chores (withdrawing cash, buying a Peruvian sim) preceded dinner with our new friends.
Wednesday 3rd July
We got up at 6am to take a tour to some islands in the lake. We were picked up shortly after breakfast and delivered to our boat at Puno's port with no small amount of chaos. Once on board, the guide gave us some information about the places we would visit, and after about an hour and a half of cruising on the smooth water, we arrived at a floating reed island and were greeted by the locals and given an explanation of how the islands were constructed. We then took a reed boat to another, almost identical island and rejoined our motorboat to continue further out into the lake to the a large natural island, Isla Taquile. There, we ascended some steps to the main square and looked around a bit at the weavings on offer (apparently the only ones in the Altiplano region of Peru and Bolivia that are made by men) before lunch. Afterwards, we walked round and down to the other side of the island and caught out boat back to Puno.
Thursday 4th July
Work in the morning in a café with surprisingly fast wifi, lunch at a vegetarian place, then more work back at the hostel in the afternoon. In the evening, dinner with our new friends.
Friday 5th July
A travel day. We were up, washed and breakfasted by 9am and checked out of our very friendly hotel to walk to the bus station and promptly caught the next bus to Arequipa. The six hour journey went smoothly, and the scenery was interesting, though there were two consecutive films played out loud on the bus about planes crashing, which was slightly distressing. Upon arrival in Arequipa, we arranged to see an apartment of a woman we'd been in touch with through couchsurfing, and took a taxi straight there. We liked it, and decided to stay, but she had to spend the evening there to finish cleaning up and fixing a few things. We headed out into town for dinner and wandered around the very pretty square.
Saturday 6th July
The morning was filled with the usual tasks involved in moving into a new apartment; unpacking, food shopping, working out how the shower works, a spot of cleaning (we seem to have higher standards of the cleanliness of floors than Peruvians) and so on. I had a Skype date in the afternoon, then we walked into town and met a friend for dinner.
Sunday 7th July
We woke up to a cacophony of music from several apartments in our block, all competing for the most annoying neighbour award. We tried to ignore it and do some work in the morning, but I ended up being overcome with a mix of frustration, helplessness and anger, and wanting to cry. I wondered again if we'd made a mistake. In the afternoon, we escaped into town for a much needed café break, then looked around some shops before a light dinner.