Is that the time?
Wake up alarms are well and truly active this morning. We are breakfasting from 5am and departing our hotel at 6am prompt. Is that really the time? Yes, unfortunately we have an early flight (the only option) so we are off to Arequipa Airport to check in. On arrival we report to the LAN desks with passports at the ready. Sadly nothing is moving ahead of us.The check in desks appear inactive. The reason? The airport is undergoing refurbishment and one of the workers appears to have cut a power cable providing power to the check-in desks. There follows a lot of scurring about with extension leads and screwdrivers. Eventually some power is restored and we help the staff do a quick group check-in which essentially means Richard and Dawn have 40 suitcases on their ticket and boarding cards are produced on block. All good fun, especially when everyone stands in alphabetical order for even greater efficiency. Remarkably the flight takes off pretty much on time. About 15 minutes after take off some of us are fortunate to see a volcano merrily smoking away. Less than half an hour later we are landing at Juliaca Airport which is the gateway to Puno and Lake Titicaca. Local guides meet us and we drive first to Sillustani, where pre-Inca people built large cylindrical tombs called "chullpas". We enjoy a slow walk with our guides. The views from the top of the hill are tremendous.
Arriving in Puno we are staying at the Lake Titicaca hotel. This hotel is located on a private island on the edge of town. The views over the lake are stunning. In the meantime the Urbinas Volcano has erupted again. It's all happening!