A Travellerspoint blog

December 1985

barge on Lake Titicaca

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Sunday 1st December 1985

Meet english David on the minibus to Puno. A government sponsored cocoa farmer in southern Belize. He has been to Santa Cruz on business, and is taking a week to look around Bolivia while he is here. Previously travelled in India. Comes form Norfolk like me. Weird how people earn their living.

Crazy wooden barge ferries the minibus across the lake to Copacabana. The lake is a deep azure in the brilliant sunshine. marvellous. Uneventful border crossings and arrive in Puno 5.30pm. Know my way about and catch the 6pm bus to Juliaca, stroke of luck as can now do Christmas shopping in Juliaca's Monday market.

Rainstorm on arrival. Hotel Yazun 30,000S

Posted by 1985 trip 03:40 Archived in Bolivia Comments (0)

evil man runs off with my suitcase

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Monday 2nd December 1985

Buy jumpers ponchos and wooly hats in market, good fun light hearted bargaining. Jumpers about 80,000 soles, hats 10,000 and ponchos 160,000. A huge train carves right through the market sending vendors and punters running.

Buy a suitcase for my booty 135,000 soles. Not very strong so length of cord to bind it with. Now have back pack and suitcase. A delinquent child gropes my leg to distract me and someone runs off with my suitcase of jumpers. I give chase shouting enthusiastically and suitcase is abandoned after 100 yards.

Consider flying down to Lima, but next flight is wednesday and it seems expensive. So get the 5pm coach to Lima.

Posted by 1985 trip 04:06 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

on a bus all day in Peru

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Tuesday 3rd December 1985

In transit from Juliaca to Lima. Coach stops for 6 hours in lovely Arequipa.

Many parts of the road cling perilously to the coastal cliffs where the andes meet the pacific. 200 foot drop down crumbling rocky cliffs to the surf and we could become anchovy food. No barriers and just enough room for 2 lorries to pass IF they slow down. An occasional cross marks the edge, in memoriam. We stopped outside a bright green chapel, half the passengers ran out, bought a candle, lit it, and ran back in. Whoever built that chapel was canny.

Posted by 1985 trip 04:17 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

the bird poo thieves

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Wednesday 4th December 1985

Arrive in Lima 6am after overnight bus ride down from Juliaca. Hair raising journey along the Pan American Highway. Sat next to a mother and small child a lot of the way. His constant wingeing irritated me intensely. After a while I realised he had ear ache and I was able to summon ups some sympathy and humanity. But it was a struggle.

Arrive in a bus station in a strange back street, not sure where I am but stride out past the touts confidently clutching my bags firmly. Spot the tall Sheraton tower and orientate like a homing pigeon and make for the cheap hotel district. Whilst walking down pedestrianised Jiron Union a pleasant well dressed middle aged lady points out some bird shit on my shoulder. Sure enough there is some yellowy goo. I wipe it on her cheek without letting go of bags. Bizarrely this does not disturb her and she offers me some tissues and continues to point out the mess. I leave the embarrassment there and keep hold of my suitcase. Soon her accomplices come to point out the muck too. A well dressed middle aged couple. Thieves.

Check in to Hospidaje 2 piso. No Alexo and no Jessica.

Posted by 1985 trip 04:23 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

a night of excess

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Thursday 5th December 1985

Woken up by Alexo at 8am. He has brought some good woodcut prints of adobe and pottery designs from the Chimu. Shopping change money reconfirm flight. Shocked by 7% departure tax, 80$ ! Decide to pay at airport.

Alexo does some 'business' in the bookstore.

Spend a wild paranoid night on the town. Kicked out of hotel for talking too loud. The discos all seem to be poorly disguised knocking shops and were all short of custom. We couldn't get into genuine disco because of lack of female companions. Still had a good laugh, stayed up all night, packed and off to airport at 5am still wired. Alexo hints he would like an english pronunciation book for his teaching.

Leave my South magazine behind accidentally. Had been saving it for the plane.

Posted by 1985 trip 04:33 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

flight home to UK after 1 year away.

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Friday 6th December 1985

Make it on to the plane with all my luggage intact. The return flight ticket had been strapped to my belly in a money belt for a year and was in a disgusting state, and my passport had moulded itself into a permanent curve.

Meet Ben & Rosie on the plane, last seen in Pisac. We land at Quito. An English computer operator I last saw on a boat in Tortuguerro, Costa Rica, gets on. He spent an excellent month in Bolivia.

Also land in Caracas.

Sleep badly on the plane.

Posted by 1985 trip 04:42 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

taken apart at heathrow

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Saturday 7th December 1985

Land at Schipol airport at dawn and change planes for Heathrow. I picked up a letter from Mum in Lima, poste restante, Parents have gone away for the weeks holiday in Majorca. Key is in donkey's shed. They return tomorrow via Gatwick.

Taken apart by customs in Heathrow. Been away long sir? A year. Really sir? step this way please.

Rosie offers hospitality for the night at her home which is 10 minutes form Gatwick. England looks all green and english and I feel emotional culture shock at my return. Cry with laughter in pub. bed collapses in the night and gives me a fright.

Next day welcome Mum & Dad home at Gatwick. Several hours later we are back in Norwich. I have 1040$ and a suitcase full of alpaca jumpers.


Posted by 1985 trip 04:49 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)