La Gira Andina 2012 travel blog










The Aston has been running well at altitude with her big fat needles in the carburettors - but has been reluctant to get started from cold in the morning. She did so fine in the end and we let the engine warm up waiting for Roger and Margaret I their Aston andthe Gault Jag XK150s. The latter, however, did not want to leave Cusco and refused all attempts to start - including being towed around the car park by Paul the mechanic. At one point a frustrated David running out of ideas asked if it would help if he ran around the car naked! Out came the spark plugs (again) for a good clean and we parked up alongside and connected the jump leads. At that moment 6 coffees and some Twix bars from the cafe arrived and we all sat down for a 10 min break. At the end of this, Paul went over to the car and it started first turn. Great jubilation, but we were an hour and a half behind schedule.

The day's driving was very rewarding. We climbed up the long and gentle road to a mountain pass, slightly higher than Mont Blanc to find snow capped peaks around us and lots of colourfully dressed Peruvians selling handcrafts. It was delightful. We ate a sandwich, relaxed and wandered around while the locals and passing backpackers on buses stopped to take their photo next to an Aston Martin.

We cracked on at a good speed after the break as the road was excellent and the speed limit was 90. (Though it is possible we misinterpreted that.) We were heading for our end of the day stop at Lake Titicaca.

Charlotte had read in the guide book that the last motorboat to the floating islands left the port at 4 pm and we were still on the outskirts of town at a quarter to. We parked the cars hurriedly and ran up the jetty to buy tickets for the last boat and jumped aboard.

The floating islands are made of reeds cut from the lake - as is just about everything else the island dwellers have. Our boat was mostly Peruvians plus a Dutch couple, so we did not feel like complete tourists. We caught the local boat back to save time before it got dark. It was great fun talking with the locals and sharing counts of children and ages.

It had been a wonderful day and we Drove around the bay to our hotel, where Charlotte produced 50 sparklers to celebrate the fifth of November. Everyone very impressed by the forward planning!

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