Afloat in Puno

Trip Start Aug 11, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Flag of Peru  ,
Sunday, October 11, 2009

Highlights of Puno town itself... well it has a pretty cathedral (don't all these Peruvian towns) and the hostel has comfortable beds and a buffet breakfast that turns out to be bread and jam.

Needless to say, we are not here to see Puno itself, but to see lake Titicaca up close and personal (we've already seen it from the air) and the floating islands of Uros.
The floating islands are, well, strange. Springy underfoot, soggy near the edge and very well designed for tourism which is really the only remaining industry here.
After an explanation of how the islands are built, we are invited to look around and are welcomed to poke our noses into the locals reed houses (just big enough for a bed and a solar powered cd player and flat screen tv). We are then encouraged to buy souvenirs from the crafts uncovered in front of us before being put in a traditional boat and rowed around accompanied by small children who sing songs first in Aymara (the local language), then Spanish, English (twinkle twinkle little star), French and Japanese. That we come away feeling like we have actually seen something fantastic, instead of feeling like foolish tourists, is a major achievement of the islanders.
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