Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Revenge of the Purple Candy

I made it to my hotel in Puno before my body gave up and quit fighting off Montezuma's Revenge. I sucked on two purple hard candies that I'd found in the room.

Those didn't stay down either. Ewwww.

I lay on the bed and groaned for a while, then weakly pried open my laptop and looked up what medication I needed. I dragged my sorry ass down to the nearest pharmacy for 10 400 mg doses of Noroflaxacin. I had a day-and-a-half in Puno. There wasn't time for this shit.


Ahem. Anyway, a few hours later I booked a boat trip for the morning and went to sleep.

In the morning, I went out on a boat with a guide and some other tourists to see the Floating Islands of the Uros people. These islands are actually manmade, of dirt and totora reeds. Small communities live on each island in reed huts.

These days, their livelihood is tourism. The tourists and guides pay a per-head fee to the islanders, who show how they dress and live and then sometimes, the tourists pay for boat rides on reed boats. In my case, another tourist that I was sitting with in a hut bought a tapestry and a mini-reed-boat. She got great souvenirs and the sellers then left me alone to take photos.

We rode on the reed boat, motored on over to Taquile Island (a 7-square-kilometer real island, made of rocks and stuff), and took a hike. Up, up, up to the village at the top, where the men wear floppy nightcaps, like a Catalan caganer shepherd.

Then down, down, down. 500 steps.

500 very steep steps.

And when we got back to Puno, I went to find Hey-There. "If I walk the main street," I thought, "I'll find someone I know."

It took only pacing back and forth twice to stumble over Julia from the GAP trip. She sent me off to Hey-There's hotel, where we said our goodbyes. Hey-There had been asleep when I'd left La Paz.

"So I'll see you tomorrow?"

I told Hey-There she wouldn't. I was heading to Cuzco in the morning.

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