The trip to Puno was our first experience on the infamous Night Buses. Because the bus was overnight, we sprung for one of the nicer, more expensive companies. The bust left from a centeral bus station and we were able to get three seats near each other. As I mentioned, we were told not to put anything under the bus because it was common for things to get stolen. We all had around the neck, under the shirt puches where we stored our passports and money. Since we had brought sleeping bags specifcally to stay warm on the bus, I was able to slimb into that and put the rest of my larger valuables (camera, cell phone etc) in a bag at the bottom of the sleeping bag. By back pack I put under the seat in front me me.The bus was definalty cold and I was glad I had by sleeping bag. Luckily, I fell asleep right away and before I knew it we were in Puno. Just as I was thinking “Hey that wasn’t so bad…” I turn to see that AF has had a pretty miserable night of getting sick on and off ever 15 minutes throughout the ride. Puno is at a signifacnly high elevation, and the temperature had dropped during the ride. It was still early in the morning and dark, so we hurried to grab our things and get inside the bus station. Once inside, AF noticed that her around the neck pouch with her money and passport was missing. One frantic search later, the pouch was located minus most of AF’s money (Around $200). Luckily the passport was still inside so major crisis avoided. As far as we could tell, at some point in the night a fellow passenger had snipped the cord around her neck, so when she stood up the pouch fell to the ground and was picked up. At this point, there was no way to find the theif and the only thing we could do was head to the hostel.
We found a cab who took us to the Hostel Real Camino which was had booked for one night. It was still really early, (around 4 am) and to our dismay the whole place was dark and looked closed. At this point AF is getting progressivley sicker, and the last thing we want to do is head back to the theiving bus stop in the freezing cold. Sleep deprived and desperate we start banging on the door hoping that someone would come open the doors.
And, miraculously, someone did. The (apparently) nicest man in the world came and open the doors. He apologetically told us that no room was ready for us (obviously - it was 4 am) but we could wait in the lobby. He even brought us blankets and hot tea and let us nap on the couches. There were even two fairly clean restrooms located in the lobby (a godsend for us after the bus adventure). He even let us eat a free breakfast when it was served at 6 am.
We had a guide meet us at the hostel at 6:45 for our boat ride out to the islands in Lake Titicaca. Unfortuantly, AF was feeling too sick to go and ended up staying back at the hostel. We later found out that our favorite hostel owner ever set her up with a room an hour later, gave her tea and called a doctor. The doctor was able to give her some anti nasuea medication and she was much better by the time we returned.
Meanwhile, CP and I headed out for our adventure on the high (elevation) seas (lake).