Puno, Uros, Lake Titicaca and Copacabana

Trip Start Apr 09, 2013
Trip End Mar 15, 2014

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

After Cusco, we headed to Puno and lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is the worlds highest navigable lake and borders Peru and Bolivia. At first we decided to head to Puno to view it from the Peruvian side which included a trip to Uros, which is a set of mini islands that are made out of floating reeds. It is a rather bizarre feeling stepping off the boat onto an island made of reeds. It feels squidgy underneath your feet and you don't want to go too close to the edge because you're never really sure how thick the reeds are and whether they will hold your weight or not. Either way we learnt about how the local people have to continually collect reeds to replenish the top layers of their island otherwise the islands will disintegrate, which obviously wouldn't be ideal! We also took a mini ride on a reed boat, again, another unique experience to tick off the bucket list.

Next stop on our day trip was Taquile which is a more permanent island (that looks like an island). Here we met some local people who all  wear woolly hats to show whether they are single or not (including children as young as 5). 

Other than visiting the floating islands, Puno was a bit of a let down. I'm not really sure what we were expecting but it was just a really busy town with a connection to lake Titicaca. It was also the coldest place we have visited so far, which was made worse by the fact we had a cold shower every day.

After Puno we headed to Copacabana which borders lake Titicaca from the Bolivian side. Copacabana is a complete contrast to Puno, it's a beautiful little town, surrounded by water and mountains. We wandered about this quaint little town and hiked to the top of a massive rock to see the breathtaking views of the town, and to visualise the enormity of the lake. Whilst in Copacabana we also watched many vehicles line up outside a church to be blessed by a priest. After the blessing, bottles of cheap fizzy plonk were sprayed around the vehicles and onto their wheels. We found this particularly interesting especially when a bunch of hard/macho looking bikers turned up, held hands in a circle to pray and then got all of their motorbikes blessed :)

We also took a boat to Isla del sol, which is apparently where the sun was born, however i'm sure any scientists out there might find that a little hard to believe. Isla del sol is a beautiful little island which sort of resembled a Greek island. It is here that we met the worst tour guide ever. We hadn't anticipated anyone taking us around the island, he sort of invited himself and the after 20 minutes of following him around with him wittering on in Spanish he chose to tell us that he doesnt speak any english and therefore the whole tour would be in Spanish (as if we hadn't noticed in the last 20 minutes.) We saw some more Inca ruins here and Liam had a spiritual experience by touching a sacred rock that is meant to look like a Puma but actually looks nothing like a Puma-it looks like a rock! However it made him feel more positive for a bit until he got a cold, not sure if the rock is to blame....?

Overall Puno gets a thumbs down, Lake Titicaca gets a thumbs up and so does Copacabana. Next stop La Paz.
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