Lake Titicaca

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, December 4, 2006

Dean:  Peru has been an amazing country to visit, far exceeding our expectations - it's going to be ashame to have to move on.  Our final stop is Lake Titicaca and from here we head over into Bolivia for the remainder of December.  As you may remember from your school geography lessons(!), Lake Titicaca (3820m) is the highest navigable lake in the world, it is also South America's biggest lake and is the largest lake in the world above 2000m (don't you just love how every place you visit has unique stats or claims - I wonder what Macclesfield's would be?).  What they don't tell you in school is that Lake Titicaca is beautiful.  We traveled from Arequipa to the town of Puno, on the western side of the lake.  Puno is nothing special to write home about but from here we arranged a boat trip out into the lake.  This took us out first to the Islas Flotantes (Floating Islands) which are the top tourist attraction on the lake.  The islands
are built using many layer of the buoyant totora reeds, which grow in abundance in the shallow areas of the lake. The island
inhabitants (the Uros) anchor their floating homes in their desired
location by pegging the islands to the lake bed (in shallow areas) with
rope etc.  It was another trump card for Peru - seeing the islands, the reed boats, and the people who live here was another amazing experience.  The rest of South America is going to have to work hard if one of the remaining countries is going to knock Peru off our "top country" list!
After the Islas Flotantes we traveled across a stretch of the lake to Isla Taquile, one of the islands situated on Lake Titicaca.  We spent a few hours on the island, walking it's coast line and having lunch.  It is a beautiful island and both Alex and I felt that we were in Italy or some Mediterranean island, rather than in the middle of South America.  From Isla Taquile we headed back to Puno arriving late afternoon.  In the evening, as it was our last night in Peru, we pushed the boat out and went out for another posh meal (there goes the budget!).  We went to a really nice restaurant in Puno and splashed out on wine, and even dessert!  It was a really nice way to finish our time in Peru.  Tomorrow - the dizzy heights of Bolivia!
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