We took a little personal vaction together to some hot springs north of Puno. In the past we have brought our Taquile family here, so this time on our own. The water is wonderful, free flowing and hot; two different pools, one smaller and slightly more primitive, the water yellowish with minerals, the other clear blue water and a bit more polished.
On March 15, early morning at the smaller pool, we had just retired to the private bath pool when someone knocked on our door. I called out that we had just entered and our time could not be up yet but they persisted and said we should just get out for a minute. We did, to find several police people plus some suits. ¡¿WHAT?! We're at the pool; our documents are not with us; we're worried. But no, it's the local television station accompanied by the tourist police. Tourists are rare in Putina and they want to interview us. So they do. I'll post the link as soon as they send it to me.
One of our goals is to get to know the large Department of Puno (Departments are like U.S. States) and we were curious about the big mines high in the mountains above Putina. Posters show beautiful glaciated peaks above the mining town of Rinconada. This day was overcast, so our hopes for mountain views were weak, but this was our free day for the excursion. Turned out that the purpose of the tourist policewoman was to help us enjoy our visit. She helped us get on the right bus to Rinconada after a quick breakfast.
The bus ride was fine, full of helpful and friendly people. A pair of men generously gave up their forward seat so we wouldn't have to sit in the back.
|Baby ¿talks? on cell phone on the bus|
Then we came to the mining area.
|Through the rain spattered window the beginnings of destruction.|
|Overturned earth as far as the eye can see.|
|detail of what I am calling the sluice ladder|
Then we came to the garbage dump.
|20 minutes of rough road worth of garbage scenery|
|Coal-black mud was everywhere.|
|Snowing on the astroturf soccer field. The only green anywhere.|
|View from the restaurant|