Lake Titicaca, Peru – Photo: Russ Johnson
I gasp, I grunt. Normally, I find climbing a small hill easy. I am not a mountaineer but somewhere in my DNA there are at least couple of strands of mountain goat. I am at 12,500 feet aiming for 13,000 and despite a prophylactic chaw of cocoa leaf presented to me at a welcoming ceremony, my lungs beg for oxygen.
I have just disembarked a boat that had taken me across Lake Titicaca. And yes, there really is a Lake Titicaca, the inland sea in Peru with the name we all giggled about in fourth-grade geography class. I am trudging, with backpack, up a hill on the island of Suasi to a lodge where I will spend the next few days. In comparison to where I have just been, this is starting to look like heaven.