New Year's Day and beyond.

In the morning, we went to the ATV place and and rented them out for a drive through the mountains. The trek we took was quite difficult. Ciaran drove with Daisy (the instructor) and Aodhan drove behind me and Iain behind Hilary. Ciaran is getting really good, and Daisy doesn't have to help him much.

We went back and had lunch - the barbeque and the salad. It was delicious. We changed rooms in the hotel to a great big triple room (room 12) with a small bathtub in the bathroom, and a great big loft with a "secret room". This is a great room.

Then we went out to the zoo. It was bigger than I thought. After the zoo, we went to the park beside and the kids drove the small ATVs by themselves around the trails. Hilary and Iain went for a short horse ride. We walked home. There were so many people at the park and at the zoo. The line up for the bus must have been a mile long.

We had our supper and called it an early night.

The next morning, Hilary and I caught a taxi into La Paz and did some souvenier shopping - in the rain.

When we returned, We had lunch and I took Ciaran and Aodhan out to the ATV place again and we went to the park with one of their dirt bikes. Ciaran learned to ride it and did very well. Aodhan learned to drive the standard ATV - so next time he may be able to learn to drive the dirt-bike. The bike is quite complicated - need to shift gears with the clutch on one handle and the speed on the other handle and kick the foot-pedal to change gears and brakes on the handles...

When we finally got back to the hotel, Hilary wasn't feeling so well, followed later by Iain. (perhaps the home-made ice cream at the zoo?) We had our supper and packed to take the bus to Copocabana, Puno and on to Arequipa in the morning.

The next day was 16 hours of travel. We had an early breakfast at the hotel and caught a taxi to the bus terminal. We had a funny time with the bus, and had to walk with a to the other side of the station and around the block to get to another bus. Then, they told us that we had to sit at the back, even though we had booked the front seats. Luckily Hilary agued and we won our front seats. There were only four seats at the front, so Ciaran and Aodhan took turns sitting on Iain's backpack on the floor.

When we got to Lake Titicaca, we had to get off the bus and take a small boat across the lake. The bus went on a small barge and went across the lake. At the far side of the lake, we found a deserted street with a ditch and we all peed. We have learned from experience that this is often a cleaner, easier, less smelly option than trying to use one of the public toilets that cost money. Aodhan said that one of the public ones he used was only a hole in the ground and smelled absolutely vile. The one I used at the same place was similar to the one in the movie "Trainspotting".

When we got into Copocabana, we had about an hour, so we got some Lake Titicaca trout suppers. They were delicious and we got some more to eat on the bus. They cost about $3 per dinner which consisted of a whole fish, salad and rice and fries. I was glad that Hilary asked for disposeable take out containers for our food, because later I saw a dog licking the dirty plates clean. (Haven't told Hilary about that yet!).

At Puno, Hilary stayed on the bus and went to a hotel. She will stay in Puno and see the floating islands and grass houses, and then go on to Cusco and to Macchu Pichu. We got on another bus back to Arequipa and our cosy apartment. It will be wonderful to sleep in our own beds tonight.

On the bus we met some great people and chatted (in Spanish of course) for a while until everyone fell asleep. Our bus got in about 11 p.m. and we caught a taxi to our apartment. The security guard on the street had my keys and helped me open my gate. We slept well.

The next day we did laundry, went to the market and grocery store and made some butter chicken. The day after we did some more shopping, got my nails done and cleaned the apartment. We are all just relaxing after a hectic 2 weeks.