Nicks and Nacks on Floating Islands
Trip Start May 30, 2005
129Trip End Sep 30, 2006
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So arriving 7.5 hours later was no real surprise to me, thankfully the man that I´d asked wasn´t actually the driver but instead the conductor/luggage man, I don´t know if they´d trust him behind the wheel.
Since I arrived a little later I decided to treat myself to a slighter nicer room
I found out in the morning that my decision to spend more money on the hostel wasn´t worth it, there was no breakfast because the Cook ´Had gone to Arequipa´. I´m starting to dislike this place. I was here in Puno to visit the floating islands, so I walked down to the docks. Note to self: Look at map before walking to dock next time. I just walked down to the lake expecting the docks to magically appear, which of course they didn´t I ended up having to walk along some dodgy half-built Malecon to get to the docks in the end.
Eventually at the docks I found a hut where I could buy a ticket out to the floating islands. The only catch was that we needed 8 people and I was alone
Instead they had to learn a bit of patience. An Israeli girl turned us into a group of 4 and despite my fair amount of patients I agreed when the boat company cut us a deal, 5 Soles more from everyone and "Vamos!", so Vamos we did.
The water around the jetty was a bright green colour, due to the amount of Algy there. We soon cut through this and out to the islands. It was pretty good only having four on our boat, much better than the 15-20 people in each of the agency groups. We arrived at one of the islands. They´re made of Reeds and traditionally home to the Uros people, Now they appear to be the ´Office´ of the Uros people as I believe most of them now live in Puno, getting a boat out there each morning before the tourists.
We arrived and they gave us a demonstration of how they make these islands which was interesting and then a little tour of the island which didn´t take long
The locals then pulled out their reed boat and encouraged us to go for a ride around the little island. "It´ll be a nice experience for you, something you haven´t done before". This was a bridge too far for me and I returned to our normal boat while I waited for the three others to have the experience of their lifetimes. I really didn´t miss anything here.
The Spanish really were in a hurry and they were wanting to cut the tour short and head back to Puno as they had a bus to catch. Needless to say that myself and the Israeli weren´t too keen on this, things worked out well though as our captain punted us onto another group while they took the Spaniards back to the mainland. To be honest though I wouldn´t have missed anything by going back then as well. We went to two further islands and once you´ve seen one island made of reeds, you´ve seen them all
I really didn´t know what to do with myself and spent my time just sitting on a log talking to some of the locals while trying to deflect their attention away from the fact that they were trying to sell me all kinds of trinkets. I was glad that I saw the islands for myself but was happy to get away from the crude and brash commercialism that exists here when it came time to leave.
I had a restful time for the rest of the day in Puno, there isn´t anything else to do. The next morning I asked about breakfast again, hoping that the cook was back from Arequipa. I was then told that breakfast wasn´t included and that I´d need to pay an extra 5 soles for it. I had a big argument with these guys and give them a hard time for the principal of the matter (There was a sign in reception giving the time of breakfast). Although I didn´t want breakfast from them I didn´t want them to get away with their deception too easily, all that it succeeded in doing was that it put me in a slightly bad mood as I headed to the bus station in order to head to Arequipa, maybe I´d find the cook there myself.