Puno is our last stop in Peru as here we catch the bus across the border in to Bolivia. We were really lucky (apart from scarse and expensive accomodation) to arrive on a festival day and the whole town was alive with music and dancing. The main roads around the Plaza were all closed off and along them a colourful parade danced its way around the streets from dusk till dawn. Apparently this was the 4th or 5th day of the festival and all the costumes were now more stunning and expensive than they had been so far. It is said that one costume could cost more than an entire households clothing. This was easy to believe when you see the detail and materials.
We managed to push and squeeze our way through the crowds to be welcomed by some locals who pulled up a cardboard box for us each to sit on the floor in front of their seats. It seemed we had prize position as we turned to find all the judges and the trophies placed on a stage behind us. As the people arrive here they dance a bit harder and show off a bit more. We made the mistake, when leaving to get lunch, of following the parade down the road in order to find an exit off the street. Many people were doing this but of course we stood out of the crowd and were a clear target for the kids, and grown ups, sporting fun party spray aimed straight at our heads. We were covered and felt pretty stupid as we had no escape. It was like shaving foam and everyone was laughing at us! Quite funny really.
Being our last stop in Peru, we both decided we should eat the local cuisine. I went for a trusty Alpaca (Llama) steak whilst Dom was slightly more adventurous and tried the Peruvian speciality - Cuy - also known as Guinea Pig! It looked horrible. To our enjoyment we were sat next to an American vegetarian couple who couldnt bare to look at it, or us! I will leave it to Dom to descibe his feast. I tried a little bit, tasted like chicken, but I couldnt eat a whole one it looked disgusting and he did not look like he was particuarly enjoying it. The Alpaca was gorgeous, its a really healthy meat as they are so active in the mountains and it tastes great. We had tried this a few times already.
After a bit of island hopping on the Lake we will be off to Bolivia, hopefully a straight forward border crossing!
Dom: Being one of our last nights in Peru it was time to try Peru's greatest delicacy, cuy. I ordered it deep-fried. Before it arrived the waited offered me a little advice. Cutlery would not be necessary as the meat would have to be picked off the bones. Just like chicken really. When it arrived we had a laugh and a photo. Then i had to eat it. The burst eyeballs and the complete body shape of an animal made it less like chicken now. And the popping of joints as i ripped a leg off was a little off-putting. Apart from the head I ate it all but once is enough I think.