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Peps and Pete Travels "On pleasure bent again"

Floating islands?

PERU | Wednesday, 21 March 2007 | Views [1181]

Lake Titicaca, situated 4000m above sea level, is home to many interesting people, and the next stop on our trip around Peru. We did a boat tour of the lake that visited the floating islands (Uros Islands) and Tacquile Island.

The people of the Uros islands are unlike any other Pervian people we have met thus far. THe Uros people of the islands started living in this manner (on floating, man made reed islands) enturies ago, in an attempt to escap the agressive Collas and the Incas. The people live in reed huts that they have build on top of the reed islands. The people of the islands are full of an incredible happiness and energy, and they were always smilings. The kids are pretty cute - because of the high altitude they all have red rosy cheeks, and everyone is dressed in colourful clothes, many of which are made by the women of the islands.

Walking on the reed islands takes a bit of getting used to, the grounds is really spongy, and feels a bit like walking on a jumping castle, although a bit more stable. Of course Pete´s first comment was ¨this would make a good footy pitch!¨ Trust him to think of such essentials.

From the Uros island, we headed over to Tacquile Island. THis is a ´real´ island on the Lake. It is incredible, there are no cars or large work animals, as the people do not ´want to become lazy´. THey are a really shy people, and so have various social signs to others on the islands. An example of this is the hats that the men wear; red and white, unmarried; red and blue, married; colourful Peruvian style hat, ´village elder´. Even the placement of the pom pom communicates with other villagers - for the unmarried men, if they have their pom pom on one side (I can´t remember which) it means that they are unmarried but dating, the otherside is unmarried but interested, and if it hangs over the back of the head it means unmarried and uninterested. The women have a similar code, to do with size and colour of their pom poms.

This was such a fascinating trip, I would really reccomend it to anyone. There are options to homestay on Tacquile Island which would also have been a fantastic experience.

Tags: Culture

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