Yasmine Martin, a Trustee of La Asociacion Yavari came for 24hrs to inspect progress and help programme our future. Her experience with Orient Express’s river boat on the Irrawaddy and launching their Transandean train from Cusco to Juliacca, Peru, is most relevant.
But first we were escorted by Transandino’s Captain Cleto to see over their 1935 dredger, Zuniga II. It was manned by a crew of 20 and used to dredge the channel from Puno Bay to the lake. Yasmine is showing us the comforts on board because with some investment it would make for a most original hostel!
“Mauricio Tito Pancca Apaza, our welder and his team of three made our new doghouse in line with the other two on board but more accessible. It weighs over 150kg. (300lbs) so it took some lifting on board and into position!
The team was proud of the finished article and quickly set about painting it white. It covers the main companionway to the holds below.
Having watched and applauded, I had to go to Bolivia for the day. It is only 88 miles (142km) from Puno to Copacabana but there is always a delay at the frontier for a queue of of every nationality backpacker tourist and local to be stamped out of one country, walk 300 ms and be stamped into the other. Copacabana is a pleasant lake-side village with its beach and fleet of boats ready to take you to the Islands of Sun and Moon.