Titicaca Yes!

Trip Start Feb 05, 2008
Trip End May 14, 2008

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

This may have been the highlight of the trip thus far. Puno is fabulous, we really love it here. Lots of markets, restaurants, and apparently we arrived just in time for Carnaval so everyone is out and about celebrating all the time! Parades, marching bands all day long and at night the kids come out with cans of shaving cream to spray everyone...apparently this is fun? thank goodness we were doing laundry the next day! Jess got her Bolivian visa, it took a day, but it went relatively smoothly...too bad she´s out $100! eeek. Yesterday we set out for our two day trip around the lake. INCREDIBLE. We left at 8am and hoped on your boat, there were probably about 25 of us, all from different places, spain, chile, austria, poland, even quebec! Fantastic! Our first stop was to Las Islas Uros, aka the floating islands. Very cool, a bit touristy, but neat to be standing on man made islands of reeds! We then took off for the 3 hour boat trip to Amantani island. We all were watching the really neat looking dark sky over in Bolivia, little did we know it was heading straight for us and we had to pull over to a peninsula to wait it out. As soon as we docked it started to HAIL! Wild times. We waited there for a long while, and were all getting very hungry! By 2:30 the storm had passed and we were on our way. Upon arrival at Amantani, we were all set up with different local families. Jess and I followed our little host sister up the hill (huffing and puffing like crazy!!) and arrived at their house. All made of mud bricks, no electricity, no running water, everything is cooked over a fire...such a culture change! We met the mother and father who were very nice, and were shown our room. The door was about 3 feet high (!) but the room was cute. Rustic, tarp and tin roof, so quite cold, and one lone candle to light up the room! We had a quick but delicious lunch, quinoa soup, rice and potatoes. We then joined the group and hiked an hour and a half directly UPHILL. Views-priceless, not being able to breathe at 4000m, not fun. We felt pretty proud of ourselves when we reached the top though :) That night we were all dressed up by our families (pics to come soon) in traditional clothing and taken to this little 'hall' for a dance. Lots of fun, but we were all VERY tired, so it didn´t last long. Jess and I then cuddled up in our rock-hard beds, with our long underwear and about ten wool blankets for bed! We were however woken up by a wild storm in the middle of the night, and rain on tin rooves is not exactly peaceful. We had a wonderful crepe breakfast this morning and were off by 8am. What a fabulous experience it was to live with a family, see how they actually do things. Very sobering and hubbling. Lots to still think about...We spent the rest of today touring another island (Taquile) and then drove the 3 hours home on the roof of our boat...aka I am now very sunburnt! Jess and I are now back in Puno, tomorrow we head to Copacabana for a day and then onto La Paz by Tuesday. We are VERY excited to start a new leg of the journey. Bolivia should be an adventure!
more soon
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