Paddle Out

Trip Start Jun 12, 2011
Trip End Oct 22, 2012

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Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America by water voume ad is also the highest navigable lake in the world.  We decided to do Lake Titicaca from Peru despite may people tellig us that its better to do it from Bolivia.  As far as I can work out the only reason for that is because Copacabana in Bolivia is a nice little backpacker place whereas Puno in Peru is a big ugly city.  Anyhow we wanted to do a homestay and this is doene in Amantani Island Peru.  The trip takes you for 2 days stopping first at the uber touristy Uros floating islands.  The folks here literally build islands that float out of blocks of roots and reeds and live on the lake.  The Uros people wear brightly coloured dresses and sing as you leave their islands - its all a very colourful experience but as their main source of income is tourism it doesnt feel like a very genuine experience.  Interesting how they build the islands though and odd to walk on them as it literally feels like walking on water.  Apparently one island lasts for around 25 years then a new one must be built.  If a family wants to move on then they simply cut their bit off the island and they float off on their merry way perhaps joinging another or setting up alone.

Next stop was Amantani where we met our host Marie-Luz and her daughter Pilash.  We were taken to our home for the night and Marie-Luz served us a traditional meal of locally grown potatoes (did you know Peru has 3800 varietes of potato!), tomatoes and local cheese (a bit like Halumi) with Muņa tea (Muņa is Andean mint good for altitude sickness, digestion  and headaches).  After lunch we hiked up to the highlands past all the pre-inca terracing for some amazing views over the Island and the Lake and watched the sunset.  At dinner we made friends with Pilash who then accompanied us to a very touristy dance where we dressed up in traditional costume despite the fact I think she was supposed to be in bed.

The next day we visited Taquile and spend several hours hiking around the island's tranquil paths stopping to admire the buena vistas and to say hello to passing locals before heading back to Puno, an onwards into Bolivia.
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