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Travels in South America

Lake Titicaca Part I

PERU | Tuesday, 7 October 2008 | Views [721]

Can’t help but think that that name should come with a ‘boom boom’ at the end.  After we flew back to Cusco from Puerto Maldonado we got a bus straight (I say straight, we were delayed buy an hour because of some kind of carnival) to Puno.  It’s a mid-sized town beside Lake Titicaca.  Puno was fine.  We spent just a couple of days there in Hostal Don Julio (which is funny because they pronounce Js as Ks therefore – Don Koolio) which was really nice and reasonably priced.  The main purpose of a visit to Puno is to go and look at some of the islands on the lake.  We went to the one that sounded most interesting – Uros.  It is a floating island.  Apparently way back in the day the Uros people got fed up of the Incas and whoever trying to take their land and so they decided to make their own floating islands.

 

We got an extremely slow boat out there (Dave keeps telling me that its not that the boats are slow it’s that the drivers (?) don’t want to use too much petrol) and were deposited on a floating island.  They make the islands out of reeds and just keep adding new layers to the top as the bottom layers rot away.  The islands are anchored now so they don’t actually move around but they could if they wanted to.  Not only do the people make their islands out of reeds, they also make their boats and their houses out of them too.  We walked around the island for a few minutes, got back on the boat and were taken to another, slightly bigger one.  This island had a kind of fish pond and on that fish pond was a tiny little island, and on that island were two tiny little houses, and in those houses were two tiny little guinea pigs.  Next to the fish pond and guinea pig island were a couple of cooking pots, don’t know who they were for!  Anyway, the island was interesting but the main purpose for the trip is for tourists to buy the usual souvenirs and crap.  Luckily we didn’t stay there long and were not compelled to part with any cash and got the boat back to Puno.

 

The next day we arranged to get a bus across the border to the next country on our trip – Bolivia.  Please see the Bolivia section for the next exciting instalment of ‘Lake Titicaca’ (Boom Boom).

Special floating island for guinea pigs

Special floating island for guinea pigs

Tags: floating island, lake titicaca, puno, uros

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