Day 73: Friday, 9th March: Puno to La Paz (Peru to Bolivia)

Day 20 of G Adventures Inca Heartland Tour

Today we leave Puno with the public bus to Bolivia. The public bus is scheduled at 7:30 am, so we get up at 6:00 am, have breakfast (it is already ready, Peru cannot really be a south american country), at 6:30 am we leave with a minibus. It’s all the same, the group waits for the same people…

At 7:00 am we are at the bus station in Puno. Gladys checks the tickets, we sit 1 and 2 again. The bus driver informs us in the first minutes on the bus, that toilet is for pee only, wifi sign is only because his boss thinks more people book this bus with the sticker (there was, is and will be no wifi). We drive along Lake Titicaca and the altiplanos. Most people sleep. This bus has, good luck, no entertainment.

We stop once for toilet and money exchange before the border.

At the border everything is strictly managed. We get off the bus, walk 500 m to Peru exmigration. We meet our Bolivian G Adventures guide there. She doesnot say much. Wait 30 minutes.

Crossing jordan …

Go to Bolivian immigration, wait 45 min. Nobody asks for a yellow fever certificate. Kong is quite unhappy, he did in Cusco a super cheap yellow fever vaccination. God knows what they shot him.

Then we wait for all. A man and his baby were not allowed to immigrate Bolivia. They take their luggage out and go back. At the bus, the bus driver is not there. After some time the guy left, bus driver appeared, people got in the bus, we continue 1:00 pm. Only 2 hours at the border …

09.03.2018 10:23 S 16°33.6725′ W 069°02.2708′ altidude 3.922 masl @ Peru – Bolivia border crossing Desaguadera

Around the border 100s of people drive in all direction, everywhere is some kind of market. Tons of goods are brought over the border. No one checks. The only people in the queue ate tourists. Coca cola on Bolivian side is significantly cheaper the 100 m north in Peru. In between is nothing structured. Weird border. But you have to fill 2 forms and have a yellow fever certificate. Not 10 % of the people moving here are able to write “yellow fever certificate”

Anyway, we continue our ride 2.5 hours more to El Alto and finally La Paz to Hotel Las Brisas. We WhatsApp with Elia, our Bolivian guide to meet her as we arrive to show us La Paz.

The buses are heavily tuned in Bolivia.

Some are a little bit overloaded

Everywhere are ads from the recent vote to change constitution for Evo Morales being President once more. ‘Si’ is the majority, he lost very sharp anyway. Most people we talked with think he shall not be once more, because of corruption and this is not democratic anymore.

It starts raining. This makes the chaotic traffic around La Paz even more chaotic. The canals pump water on the street.

Somewhen we arrive at La Paz Bus central, get into a minibus (our luggage goes on top, but rain stopped already) and at 3:30 pm we finally arrive to Hotel Las Brisas.

I text Elia, she will be here in 10 minutes, we put our stuff in our rooms.

Tour starts at the with market

To a church

To the main plaza with the cathedral and Evo Morales office. People carry a blue flag to him to demand sea access for Bolivia from Chile (they took it in a war before 1900).

09.03.2018 16:31 S 16°29.7835′ W 068°08.2128′ altidude 3.663 masl @ Evo Moralez office

Evo Morales office:

Weather clears up, so we walk to the telerifico:

We take the Red line up to El alto, change to the blue, ride to the end, go back and down again.

09.03.2018 17:53 S 16°29.8898′ W 068°09.8959′ altidude 4.116 masl @ Telerifico Exchange station from Red to Blue Line

09.03.2018 18:15 S 16°29.3663′ W 068°12.5464′ altidude 4.056 masl @ Final station Telerifico blue line El Alto

Each ride is 3 Bolivians (0.4 eur). As we come down we are all hungry. Elia leads us to Restaurant Angelocolonial

09.03.2018 19:11 S 16°29.8837′ W 068°08.2917′ altidude 3.679 masl @ Restaurant Angelocolonial

Food is good – Llama Cordon Bleu

We go home, didnot unpack the stuff. We have booked a transfer to the airport at 5:00 am, so wake up is 4:30 am. Checkin is already done. We hug Gianni, tell him to take care and go sleep to go tomorrow for the inka trail.

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