Cusco to Titikaka
The first night after leaving Cusco we camped in a eucalyptus grove high above the road. The valley was deep, the mountains either side barren save for a light coating of grass. The last light from the setting sun cast a warm orange light onto the top of the highest hill to the east, whilst the mountain to the west was bathed in the cold steel glow of the light from the rising moon. It was a chilly night, the sort of night when Osmosno Brothers prefer to prepare their food sitting in a sleeping bag in the tent rather that the more traditional method of sitting out beneath the stars.
The road from Cusco to La Paz is a fine road across Alti Plano – High Plateau. Apparently they have rain for 3 months a year up here, the rest of the year is dry with clear blue sky, just the ticket for the long distance cyclist. The astonishing thing is the amount of people. People are everywhere right up to four thousand metres making discrete camping a bit of a problem.
There are several towns along the way mostly notable for being busy and distinctly unattractive, we generally passed them by preferring to spend the night in our tent amongst the beauty of nature.
Early in my career of visiting pubs I became intrigued by just how many Oldest Pubs in Britain there seemed to be. At one stage every other hostelry seemed to lay claim to this. Over the years I have visited The Highest Town In The World on numerous occasions in several countries and on two continents. Lake Titikaka is famed for being the highest navigable lake in the world, and, like those pubs and towns, it quite likely is not; after all what is a “navigable Lake?’ One upon which someone decides to sail a boat I assume. What Titikaka is, alongside being high and navigable, is beautiful. The deep blue waters of the lake blend almost seamlessly with the deep blues of the sky far off on the horizon. Nestled away on the shores of the lake is the pleasant village of Copacobana, and that is where we can sit with a beer and watch endless hues of red in the western sky as the sun dips down into the lake with nary a hiss.
During the day the sun is hot as it beats down through the rarified atmosphere of altitude, but once the sun has finished for the day it is on with down jackets as the temperature dips down to sub zero.
Another day of Titikaka and off to La Paz, Bolivia’s capital and journeys end.