More than ten years ago (I will not say how many so that I do not feel old), I met Flor. Some may have their critiques with social media, but in my opinion, most times I have found some benefit.
A few months before starting with ‘The Pink Suitcase’ I made contact via FB with her. Years had passed and we were very different. I was no longer in university and Flor had made a family with two children of 10 and 14 years old.
She always told me about her hometown in Puno, the landscapes and customs of the place. Part of my travel experience is sharing with local people, and a few weeks ago I decided it might be a good next destination.
The first stop would be Tacna, then to her village and then (as in most of my trips) ‘I would see’. And so a few days ago I was taking off to a city I did not know: Tacna.
I arrived on a Wednesday at 4pm. I met his family and suddenly the ‘I will see’ was sooner than I thought. At 1 am I was waking up to get ready (let’s remember I am not a light traveler) and at 3 am I was heading north.
I must admit I was waiting for another state of the Tacna – Moquegua – Puno road. However it was very good. The only mishap we had was when a road concession made us wait more than 30 minutes to pass. I just tried to enjoy the moment and the landscapes, since I had not been for many years in ‘the Puna’.
We arrived at Chatuma, the ‘Centro Poblado’ which Flor had spoken so much to me. After lunching with carachi (local fish) and Chuño, and taking a nap, I encouraged myself to climb the mountain that separated us from Lake Titicaca.
I left the lack of air and fatigue aside when I reached the top and saw what I saw. I had a flashback of what I had seen a few months ago in Alghero, Italy. Not being a tourist area, the lake looks completely clean, is fishing and is source of recreation (Videos on Instagram @viajaconari).
What was going to be a 30 minute stroll lasted a couple of hours. A few months ago I appreciated the feeling of peace and tranquility on the edge of the sea of Sardegna in Italy, this time I appreciated the same feeling on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
That night as is the custom of the place, I slept early, since the next day I was going to have a lot of activity. That will be my next story as it should deserve a whole chapter.
Thank you again to the family of Flor, who made me know this area of the country that without their hospitality would have been possible.
In the next blog entry I will tell you what I spent the following days in Copacabana, La Paz and Arica !!! (And the fact that I was almost deported … again 🙁 )