Travels‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎Peru‎ > ‎

4-17



Today was great!  Tour of Uros Islands and Taquile Islands on Lake Titikaka, in Puno. Got picked up at the pier at our hotel bright and early, and first went to the Uros 'floating' Islands. These are man made floating islands, built first with a 3 foot layer of thick mud, then stacked 3 feet thick with reeds from the lake. We got to visit a family and learn about how the islands are made... When you walk on it, it's squishy! Everyone is very friendly and as you'll see, we even got to try on some of their clothes! They were building a new boat, which is also made out of reeds, but stuffed with 2000 water bottles. We took one of the reed boats to another island, which two people rowed. Beautiful handicrafts and such.  Really enjoyed seeing how this pre-Inca culture has lived for hundreds of years.

Then we took a slow but very pleasant 2.5 hour boat ride to the Taquile Island. The terraces on the hills were built by the Inca's for farming about 500 years ago, and are still used today. These people are a little more shy, but our wonderful tour guide, Ivan, told us about some of their traditions. For example, if the man is wearing a red hat, he's married. White and red hat is not married, if he wears it hanging down to the right it means he's interested in a relationship, and if he wears it hanging to the left, it means he doesn't want a relationship now, hanging to the back is engaged :) This tradition is only on this one island of about 2000 people.  To get to the top, we had to walk up quite a bit, and at 12,500 feet it was harder to breath, but we caught our breath pretty easily. Had lunch, then made the trip back down 600 stairs, back to the boat, and about 2 more pleasant hours back to the hotel. Very nice weather, was worried it would be cold, but mostly very nice, felt like maybe 55, only cooler in the wind on the top deck of the boat.

Finally, we visited the ship located at our hotel, which is now preserved for people to walk through. It had to be carried by hand in over 2600 pieces through the Andes mountains in the late 1800's. Good dinner at the hotel, and had my first Piso Sour (popular Peru drink, tasted similar to a margarita with froth on top).