After six hours of leaving Cusco, the bus arrives in Juliaca at about 5:30 in the morning. It is a bustling commercial city located 45 km north of Puno, the popular launching port for the Lake Titicaca.
It seems that Juliaca and Puno rival each other all the time, and it is common to hear that mientras Puno baila, Juliaca avanza or while Puno dances, Juliaca advances. This is especially true in february when Puno celebrates the Mamacha Candelaria, one of Peru´s most important religious feast. On the other hand, many people claim that Juliaca is Peru´s ugliest town, but honestly I do not know why people say so exactly. I think it is ok.
Anyway, it is very cold out here even though I wear a woolen cap and gloves. My destination is still the Lake Titicaca but not via Puno this time, though. This time I head for the Peninsula of Capachica, at a northern corner of the lake.
Three Juliaca snapshots:
So Close and yet So Far:
One hour and a half later I am in Capachica. It is an isolated village surrounded by the Lake Titicaca at over 3,800 m.a.s.l. In addition to the blue sky, one can not help watching the sculpture in the middle of its main square.
At one corner of the square, it is the church of St Salvador, patron of this village. His feast is held on the fifth of August. It is a four-day feast filled with parades, fireworks, contests of dances and musical bands as well as bullfighting.
I walk around this small town towards its outskirts just two or three blocks away from the main square. I am still on my way to the Peninsula. At the main square I will take a bus to the quaint village of Llachón.