Floating Islands and dressing up!

Trip Start May 17, 2006
Trip End May 2007

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, December 5, 2006

From Cusco we drove to Puno on Lake Titicaca for our trip out to the islands. We were both a bit apprehensive about it as we thought it might be a bit tacky. In fact it was a great experience. After a 3 hour boat trip we arrived a Isla Taquile where we had lunch. The island is home to 2500 people who live a cooperative sibsistence life. They all help each other out and share food etc. We saw their traditional dress, although not everyone still wears it. Lunch was trout from the lake with magnificent views towards the snowcapped mountains of the Cordillera Real in Bolivia.

It was then on to Isla Amantani where we were introduced to the family we were going to stay with. We got a lovely couple with 2 sons and a extremely cute 3 year old daughter. Some of us played football against a local team, narrowly loosing 4 - 3. It was then back to the house for supper. We ate in their tiny kitchen hut which was made of Adobe with a tin roof. The food was cooked on an open fire and we dined by candle light. After supper we showed them our London playing cards which they found fascinating. We got dressed up in local costume (ponchos for the boys and skirts and embroidered shirts for the girls) and made our way to the community centre for an andean disco. 2 bands played folk music while we danced with our families, our 3 year old was quite a star on the dance floor. We had a really great time and although it was very touristy it was done very well and we were sad to say goodbye the next morning.

Our final destination was the Islas Flotantes (the floating reed islands). These are islands made of reeds (about 3 meters thick) which float in 20 metres of water on which the Uros people live. This was quite touristy but still fascinating to see how they built the islands and lived.
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