Monday, 2 May 2011

Lake Titicaca 2 May

Or Lake Titikaakaa as we have been taught today. There are so many different local languages here... every homestay we have been at we have had to learn a new one.  Sure is extending the brain somewhat. I have taken to writing the basic ones on my palm so I can quickly remember what to say!!

Today we took a tuktuk...not sure how to spell it...basically a tricycle with covered passenger area.  Picture is below.  Certainly an interesting ride considering the road rules here...was sure glad to get through the intersections but a great way to see the town.  

This got us down to the port where we took a passenger boat out to the Uros Islands where they live on the reeds.  They were very friendly, bright in personality and colourful fashion with lovely white smiles due to them eating the heart of the reed which is rich in fluride no fillings!!

They certainly gave us a wonderful overall picture of how the island was built, maintained and their lifestyle including boats made with the reeds shaped like a viking ship which we rode on at the end of our visit.  As you will see with the pictures, Cathy was just chomping at the bit to have a go but road around in circles due to the differing strengths of both rowers!!

After the Uros Island we headed to the peninsula of Llachan where approx 200 people live fishing, farming and embroidery and knitting.... mostly self sufficient and vegetarian except for xmas, birthdays, or weddings and then a sheep or beef is killed for the whole community and mostly cooked up in soups.   Carbs, carbs and more carbs.  Our lunch was macaroni, rice and potatoe dish!!  Breakfast... a fried bread mix with jam, and tea was a lovely vege soup.  We all got dressed up in their fashion and this village is known for there exquisite embroidery.  They were very friendly and had a great sense of humor.  Cathy soon made a bond with the two children of the family.  We were soon put to work digging up potatoes or papas as they are called.  Then it was off to the challenged volleyball game between intrepid visitors against the LLachanérs.  Intrepid have never won...  Jess was so happy when we won... first time ever!!!  A good fitness test for us in this altitude... a long time since I have played volleyball but somehow remembered the technique. Great fun!

The next morning 2 May, we were picked up by boat and off to Taquile Island where the men do the knitting and the women...the weaving.  First we had to climb approx 200m up to the local square and then onto the local Inca ruin site with stunning views of the surroundings.  Trout for lunch..pic below and again rice, chips and trout...they do love their carbs lol.  And to get to our boat again...down 500 steps and all good training for our Inca trail. Beautiful island, lovely and peaceful, colourful and a wonderful culture.  Basically three rules... do not be lazy, no lieing, and no stealing.  One Mayor rules the island and some officials who make sure the many restaurants all share the tourism demand. Only half of the restaurants are open one day and the other half the next day so they all take turns.  The takings are split and shared amongst them.
The clothing is very colourful and again a tradition of certain hats for single women, married, single men, married men and children.  An interesting custom of the island is when choosing your lifetime partner in divorce here... they live together for a year to try..apparently no sex!!..and then after that year they can choose to marry or not.!  Certainly appear to be happy pèople and a structured community.

Home now to Puno after a 3 hour journey back in our boat...Cathy just loved the top view as you can see in the picture below!  We both had a snooze on top deck in the lovely breeze and fantastic views! Spectacular!  As I am writing this blog (Robyn) I think I get to chose the picture lol.

Off to Cusco tomorrow.. 8am with a 6 hour bus ride what fun!  A chance for us to catch up on some zzzzzz!  It has been a busy few days and those homestay beds while warm with alpaca blankets were not as soft as our hotel ones LOL.

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