Following a prolonged fix for the bike I departed Arequipa late in the afternoon, just in time to catch a desert sunset. The stretch between Arequipa and Puno is about 200 miles. The bike still possessed a slight vibration which I found disconcerting, however, it seemed to me that stopping to check it was no longer an option so I continued across the desert. The cold night eventually saw me make it to Puno but in reaching the town it was was impossible not to notice how run down and filthy it was, so I kept riding. As I curled southwest along the edge of lake Titicaca I periodically passed through little resort towns, each more decrepit than the last, and my search for a safe place to stay was a difficult one.
After a total of seven freezing hours on the bike I found myself in yet another desolate town on the Peru/Bolivia border. High pressure sodium bulbs were casting a dingy orange light on the deserted streets. The only thing preventing me from getting into Bolivia were two lengths of chain stretching across the road, both of which I could have easily bypassed. The first of these was mounted out front of a very abandoned looking National Police Station which a black lab had claimed as his. The perro negro barked in protest as I dug through my luggage, as if to say, "I'm the only stray sleeping here tonight". I imagine his dismay was great as I produced a tent from my left side pannier. Overwhelmed with sadness he rose and lumbered slowly down the road while offering up a couple of half-hearted howls. I made camp and at 3AM I was asleep in front of a police station on the Bolivian border.
There is video of the marching band which awoke me but the posting will come later