A Trot Round Puno
The square next to our hotel has a pretty church and opposite a real find where we had a light lunch and loved it so much went back for supper
We had a lay in breakfasting at eight thirty, did some chores and went for a gentle trot, still tired from our journey on the Inka Express. Puno is a city in southeastern Peru, located on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It is the capital city of the Puno Region and the Puno Province with a population of approximately a hundred and fifty thousand. The city was established in 1668 by Viceroy Pedro Antonio Fernández de Castro as capital of the province of Paucarcolla with the name San Juan Bautista de Puno. The name was later changed to San Carlos de Puno, in honour of King Charles II of Spain. Puno has several churches dating back from the colonial period, they were built to service the Spanish population and evangelise the natives.
We trotted round the market, meat to one side where the ladies were busy filleting, clothing and goods were upstairs and a wander around the fruit and veg showed many of the two thousand different varieties. We then bought a bag of huge sized "popcorn" for seventy five pence, what a find.
Today, Puno is an important agricultural and livestock region; particularly of llamas and alpacas which graze on its immense plateaus and plains. Many homes in Puno, much like surrounding cities, are half-finished. This is done so that the inhabitants do not have to pay taxes. Much of the city economy relies on the black market, fueled by cheap goods smuggled in from Bolivia. Puno has been designated to become a Special Economic Zone by Peru's president. Puno is served by the Inca Manco Capac International Airport in nearby Juliaca.
Puno is situated between the shores of Lake Titicaca and the mountains surrounding the city. There is less than two miles of flat land between the shores and the foothills, which has caused the growing city to continue to expand upwards onto the hillsides. As a result, the town's less developed and poorest areas are high on the hillsides, with very steep streets, which are generally not paved and cannot be accessed by car.
Up one of these streets is the Kuntur Wasi viewpoint, which has a huge metal sculpture of a condor. There are some seven hundred steps to climb to reach the sculpture but the view across the city and Lake Titicaca beyond is breathtaking. Seven steps may have been too much for us, so photos taken from our room will have to do.
Puno is known as the folkloric capital of Peru due to its wealth of artistic and cultural expressions, particularly dance. They are most notable during the celebrations of the Feast of the "Virgen de la Candelaria" and the Regional Competition of Autochthonous Dances. Puno's access to Lake Titicaca is surrounded by forty one floating islands. To this day, the Uros people maintain and live on these man-made islands, depending on the lake for their survival and are a large tourist destination.
Ladies dressed traditionally push carts with drinks, jelly, ice cream and popcorn. Lovely to see all school children in very smart uniforms.
Puno is the first major hub in the constant migration of indigenous peoples of the Andes to the larger cities of Peru. It is the largest city in the Southern Altiplano and is the recipient of new residents from surrounding smaller agricultural communities of poorer class of people seeking better opportunities for education and employment. As such, Puno is served by several small Institutes of Technology, Education and other technical or junior college-type facilities. Additionally it is home to what is commonly referred to as the "UNA" or the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano, which was founded in 1856.
For the first time in my life I had a shoe shine, strange as I had suede Fitflops on, but the results were spectacular
Anne had her walking shoes done while Bear sat enjoying the sun.
ALL IN ALL A BUSY LITTLE TOWN
SURPRISINGLY HIGH ALTITUDE WITH THE PROMISE TO SEE LAKE TITICACA