We took a bus tour from Cuzco to Puno. We saw lots of old rocks from afar and up close. Some of them were arranged into magnificent structures. We passed through Juliaca before we reached our final destination. The tour guide had a thick accent, so when he explained the economy of Juliaca, he said either women sell gasoline on the black market, or women and gasoline are sold on the black market there. The tour guide told us that since the main economic activity in Juliaca is the black market, there are no tax dollars to go to infrastructure. At least I think that’s what he said. Although the tour guide didn’t mention them, I’m sure Juliaca has some beauty, some fun. I saw a dinosaur themed children’s park.
After our visit in Puno, we went back to Juliaca (the closest airport) in order to fly to Lima. We showed up to the airport three hours before our flight, as the airline/airport website advises. There was no need since we had the first flight of the day. We sat in a large room, the one gate of the airport, for three hours. I got a bit stir crazy. The room filled slowly. I saw and eavesdropped on a very sunburned group of tourists from Ireland. I watched happy kids play with each other to pass the time. I tried to read. I tried to write postcards. I listened to a song from a musical about lovers in New York.
The drawing below is based on a photo I took during our first drive through Juliaca. A mural of Whiney the Pooh, a happy doctor and child, and a kind tiger fills the grooves of a wall lining the streets. A woman pushes a fruit cart. Two kids sit inside a wheel barrel. The road is dirt. The buildings are unfinished. The sky is ominous.