Tuesday 6 November 2018

Transport Traversing Titicaca

Now we all know where Lake Titicaca is, don't we?
fbb knew it was somewhere in South America, possibly in the Andes and that it was, to use a technical term, big. He also knew that, in the area around this lake the potato was first cultivated about 7000 years ago - indeed all potatoes are ultimately descended from Lake Titicaca stock.

Lake Titicaca is a large, deep lake in the Andes on the border of Bolivia and Peru, often called the "highest navigable lake" in the world. By volume of water and by surface area, it is the largest lake in South America.

Lake Titicaca has a surface elevation of 3,812 metres (12,507 ft).

It is not just big , it is deep and "high up".

The "highest navigable lake" claim is generally considered to refer to commercial craft. For many years the largest vessel afloat on the lake was the 2,200-ton, 79-metre (259 ft) SS Ollanta.
Today the largest vessel is most likely the similarly sized train barge/float Manco Capac, operated by PeruRail.

Although PeruRail does operate some freight and railcar services for locals (and for locals only?) ...
... it is best known for its expensive and luxury tourist trains ...
... as above on the ten hour trip from Cuzco to Puno on the western bit of the lake.

But it was a friend of No 3 son who awoke fbb's interest in the lake crossing - this time by car ferry. Said friend was "backpacking" around South America and trundling his way from Peru to Bolivia. The border runs through the lake.
But we MUST sort out our geographical knowledge. Here is South America ...
... zoom in to the lake.
Zoom further ...
... and further still; and there are the dotted lines which mark a vehicle ferry.
"Backpacker Bill" is on a coach/bus which has arrived at San Pedro (Saint Peter) de Tiquina.
Here his coach stops just short of the ferry terminal ...
... where he is exhorted to "haste ye back".
But first, all passengers are required to get off the bus because those flat "barges" in the picture above ARE the car ferry. He observes the coach gingerly drive up the planks and on to the ferry ...
... watched by the smartly-dressed member of staff. One other vehicle joins the sailing (joins the floating?) ...
... which is then barge-poled from the quayside.
There is no Streetview at the St Peter "terminal" but Backpacker Bill can wave farewell to the imposing Inca Statue ...
... as he and his fellow passengers follow on a second sailing!

The statue may be of Manco Capac who gave his name, amongst many things, to the PeruRail train ferry!

Manco Cápac, "the royal founder", also known as Manco Inca and Ayar Manco was, according to some historians, the first governor and founder of the Inca civilization in Cusco, possibly in the early 13th century. He is also a main figure of Inca mythology,

Presumably the barge cannot take the weight of a coach AND its passengers. The reason for the barge-pole manoeuvre then becomes obvious as the boat has to be swung through 180 degrees to its smallish engine can push rather than pull.
The next picture suggests that Bill travels on a faster vessel and overtakes the slow progress of his coach.
Passengers are the re-united with their vehicle at San Paulo de Tiquina where the terminal lacks any good-will message.
The trip is shown on maps as part of the road entitled National Route 2 ...
... but fbb suspects that the barges are run by "owner drivers".

So it is farewell to the two Tiquinos (courtesy of Coca Cola - who else!) ...
... and on past a bit more of Lake Titicaca.
Apparently the boat owners go hone at 1800 each day, so if you arrive later than that you sit, snooze and wait until the next morning.

Eat your heart out Red Funnel and Wightlink!
A Lincoln Laugh
Snapped by Sheffield hack Roy on Sunday last ...
... an excellent display of Lincoln City timetables (remember when you could fine them?).

But to its left an alternative source of infomation - a confuser terminal offering timetables and journey planning.
But look closely and you will see that ...
... it is upside down!

Ah, the joys of technology ...
Tomorrow a much delayed look at the latest London "Tube" map.

 Not Just Tube blog : Wednesday 7th November 


  1. Whats a confuser?

    1. Oh right ?!?!

      Probably better to say what you mean.

  2. We regulars all know. A bit like bus users really, surprised that a newcomer (stranger) doesn't know. But how can he find out? One of the many mysteries of the public transport experience!

  3. Maybe someone hung the monitor upside down

  4. Wonder if the captain of the San Pedro (Saint Peter) de Tiquina Vehicle ferry gets upset by the fog on the Lake, as did Red Funnel captain a few days ago at Cowes?