QuickPeek: Rest. Tourism.
This section we are travelling thro, is a pretty intense route for tourism. Even if one starts in the middle of Peru, it goes from Lima, Cusco, Titicaca, la Paz, Uyuni, San Pedro de Atacama and heads south. There were few options for us to jump away from the popular track, but invariably we are pushed back on to the trail as that is the curse of backpacking. However, with a few days to play around and lot of options in terms of roads here in Peru, we decided to take a bit of a loopy route towards Cusco.
We took a day off in Puno just to walk about and enjoy the quiet town. There isn’t much happening here and if one is not taking a tour package to go see some sights, it’s actually a nice and cozy town to hang out in. We had a decent hostel at 15 Soles per person and figured might as well hang out another day. The day was spent mostly hanging out in the different plaza’s, bumping into some photo exhibits and eventually heading to the vegan restaurant for some food.
The next day, we decided to head east of Lago Titicaca and I had found a small town with some Hot springs. So in the morning, after a bit of a disappointment for b’fast (the place was closed) we took a Collectivo to Juliaca. This was a chaotic commercial town and we had to walk about a little to find our next bus station where Collectivo’s headed for the small town of San Antonio de Putina. We had a bit of a wait to fill up the minivan and after that it was a smooth ride up to Putina.
Putina was a support little village with primarily local tourists who were travelling to visit hot springs. Apart from that it was just a small stop over on the way to La Rinconada, the world’s highest populated town at 5300m, a gold mining boom town and an absolute shit hole with poor sanitation. A proper wild west place I suppose. We thought of heading there, but figured it was not worth it really. Anyway, back in Putina, we walked about and found a small hotel at a really good price of 10 Soles each and after a quick snack of avocado sandwiches, we headed to the hot springs.
We hoped it to be empty and quiet, but the first pool we went too had way too many people and We decided to skip it. After a while we decide to go find the second pool which was smaller, but a bit quieter. We still had to wait for a while for some space to open up. The water was nice and relaxing, but honestly the place was a bit rundown and smelled funny (not the hot spring smell, but of too many people). It was still nice to soak in some hot water for a while and after walking around the square and checking out the church a couple of times, we decided to head back and relax in the cozy confines of the hostel.
Track NotesExpenses: SG$ 28.66
Comments: The thermal springs were a good reason to get to Putina, but I wished the place was a bit better maintained.