The islands of Lake Titikaka
Trip Start Jun 02, 2005
26Trip End Aug 19, 2005
Several hours later, the second stop was the island of Amantaní. The mothers of the arranged host families met us on the shore in their traditional dress of the island
When we returned at dark, our family was sitting around a tiny, dark kitchen preparing dinner over a fire. They had no running water or electricity, but the fire was warm, the faces friendly, the stars unbelievable, and the experience unforgettable. We ate hot soup and discussed their island customs and life while the baby, Pepito, stumbled from lap to lap.
After dinner they dressed us up in their traditional clothes and took us to meet the others from our group in a building where a band played indigenous music, and they taught us some of their dances
The next morning they fed us breakfast, kissed us goodbye, and led us back down to the boats.
Our last stop was the island of Taquile. Another long hike provided amazing panoramas of the lake and the island. We stopped for a while at the plaza to watch the local people set up shop for the daily market. The people on this island had a completely different style of dress. Our guide explained the intricate meanings behind the colors and shapes of their hats, bags and belts, which were instigated by the Spanish to organize and recognize the locals. Their daily dress indicated their social position and marital status and is still utilized today.
We hiked some more, stopped for a lunch of king fish from the lake, and descended back down to the boats.
Although I remember it all in a hazy, feverish, oxygen deprived fog, it was a phenomenal time.