We loaded up on the buses again, for a long, long drive up to Puno and Lake Titicaca. The land changed as we traveled, lost its color and flattened out. It looked cold.
As we approached the cities, there was more trash along the side of the road and a feeling of perpetual construction. In Juliaca, nearly every building has rebar sticking out of the top – even the buildings that appear to be finished.
We took a couple stops along the way. The first was a primary school, where we helped deliver supplies to the children, and got to hang out with them for a bit. They were so cute! We decided to go into the 4th grade classroom, as our oldest is in the 4th grade. We thought it would be good to show him what school in that part of the country and world is like for children like him. The teacher (with one of the tourists translating) explained the curriculum and how the students spend their day. Then we spent a little time with a couple of girls, Jenny and Jennifer. We didn’t understand each other, but they showed us their artwork and writing, and I wished I had brought my Zune with me so I could have at least shown them a picture of Jarod and Jada. Afterward, we all went out to the courtyard again, and the girls took both of my hands and stood with me while we said our good-byes. Little children were holding hands and hugging people all over the place. A little boy latched onto Jason and escorted him out the gate.
Second stop was Raqchi, aka the Temple of Wiracocha, an Incan temple – unusual in that it had rounded storehouses instead of squared. And there were so many of them! There was also a wall built up on the hills, but you could just make it out, and I don’t think my pictures came out very well with the light we had. Still, very impressive. And I loved being able to just walk right into the ruins, stand right on top of them, even.
There was a little market there. We browsed, but didn’t buy anything. I did, however, go into my very first PAY TOILET. 1 nuevo sol. I kept the ticket for my scrapbook.
Then we were back on the road, and on our way to Puno. I fell asleep off and on. The landscape wasn’t enough to hold my attention for long.