Floating Islands

Trip Start Aug 26, 2009
Trip End Jun 24, 2010

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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, March 15, 2010

After a ridiculously easy border crossing we were in Peru. Puno was a quick stop for us. We stayed in a lovely hostel that had a living room and kitchen shared between every few rooms, the hostel was pretty much empty which meant we more or less had a whole apartment to ourselves. Nice! Our best find in Puno was definitely a delicious and despicably cheap Chinese restaurant. We had not had Chinese in a verrry long time so it was a treat and very easy on the wallet.

The next day we went on a tour to the floating islands on Lake Titicaca. We were not really sure what to expect but were pleasantly surprised with what we found. The islands are fascinating. They basically came about when the Uros people had a disagreement on the land and decided to move to the lake! They still live there today although most of the younger generations have moved to the mainland. The children get the boat to school and some adults go across to the mainland to work. The islands are made of reeds and take regular maintenance to stay afloat, they also need to be moved in the rainy season. The houses are also portable on the islands and we had to help move one when we were there.

When we arrived we were instantly amused by the kids running about playing and also the traditional costumes of the people. Most of them were selling crafts but were really friendly and tried teaching us some of the Aymara language. We were kept entertained by a very small girl chasing the other kids with a very big stick! We then took the reed boat across to another island. The boat was so intricately made it was like a work of art. We were also treated by the musical voices of two of the small boys on the way, with a great rendition of the classic 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat'. It was a great experience and we were on our way back just before a massive storm. Next stop, Arequipa.
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