The Journal  

2 February 2006


Author: Jeremiah

Photographer: Holly



January 19-20

From Cuzco we planned to head southeast into Bolivia , before turning back west into Chile and the Pacific Coast hugging the Pan-American Highway . The road that leads to Bolivia passes by Lake Titicaca, a body of water that is credited as being the largest lake in South America and the highest lake in the world at nearly 13,000 feet. The body of water is split between the countries of Peru and Bolivia.

Leaving Cuzco , the road turned into a sea of mud and we had to detour before heading south and into a different kind of mountain riding than we had encountered before. As the road climbed through high passes it led to an open altiplano, where we wound between snow-capped ridges past lakes and mountain streams on a beautiful, well-paved and fast highway.


Pools of water left from the night rains reflected the Andes Mountain ridges.


Locals walked across the road from field to field with bundles of laundry.


Herds of alpacas, llamas or vacunas were often seen grazing along the road side with a watchful shepherd standing nearby.


Sunny skies brought beautiful reflections along the road.


Despite the flat plains we were traveling at around 13,000 feet in the Andes .

Crossing a ridge, you descend from the pampas to the town of Puno nestled against the lake's edge. Lake Titicaca is populated by Uros people, who construct artificial floating islands out of reeds where they live and work, and are the area's main attraction and make Puno another tourist town.

We walked from our hotel to the docks, catching the clear blue waters that reflected the mountain peaks around them, before they turned green with the slime of pollution near the lakes edge, just as the sun was setting behind us. It was starting to rain, so we caught a pedal taxi back to the town center, finding a restaurant where I sampled an alpaca steak.


Boats were tied up along the dock waiting to take tourists and fishermen out on the lake the following day.


An afternoon rain storm cooled things off at dusk around Lake Titicaca in the lakeside town of Puno.


We took a pedal taxi which is half a bicycle attached to a passenger cart back up from the lake to the town center that was, unfortunately for the driver, all up hill.


With fork poised, Jeremiah waits for a picture before digging into his alpaca steak with garlic sauce.

The next morning was Holly's birthday, and we packed the motorcycle and rode back to the docks to eat breakfast, hoping to see a sunrise that the cloudy horizon hid from us. The area was busy with pedal taxis bringing boat captains and their gas cans to prepare their launches for the day's influx of tourists.


Jeremiah watches a Lake Titicaca sunrise shrouded by clouds before we headed out to Bolivia.



All photographs © Holly Marcus / Page design by Robin Marcus