Lake Titicaca & Peru
Trip Start Feb 24, 2010
26Trip End Aug 16, 2010
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Lake Titicaca is massive, about 200km by 80km, beautiful deep blue and cold ! Found a nice hotel room overlooking the lake and sunset for $3 a night (bargain!). The specialty food is Trucha (fresh water trout) bred in the lake.
Took a boat ride out to Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun), the birthplace of the Sun in Inca legend. Beautiful scenic place with nice beaches, stepped farming and Inca ruins.
Unfortunately I have lost all of my Bolivia photos because my little computer has crashed. Fortunately I have backed up all the other photos, except Bolivia.
Crossed the border into Peru, still on Lake Titicaca to a town called Puno. Took a boat trip out to some artificial floating islands made of reeds. The lake is full of totora reeds in this area and they float. The islanders pull out the reeds including a blocks of dirt with roots in. These blocks float. They tie them together with stakes made from eucalyptus branches (yes, the gum trees are everywhere), then stack the reeds on top of them in a criss cross. The reeds on the bottom eventually rot, so they keep topping them up with new reeds on top every week or two. The houses, tables, boats, everything is made of reeds, they even eat them! The houses lift up off the ground so that they can add more reeds to the floor. We went on a reed boat across to another island. It is all a bit touristy, but quite fascinating. These people have been living on these floating islands for about 1000 years.
After that I had 3 days to cross the country to Lima, the capital on the coast to board my tall ship. I stopped in Arequipa for half a day & overnight, missed out on walking through the deepest canyon in the world and the Condor (huge bird) sanctuary. Then had half a day to wander around Lima before joining the tall ship Europa for my sailing journey. It was May Day public holiday and they had a colourful parade with music and twirling dancers.
I couldnīt quite bring myself to try the local delicacy - bbq guinea pig, complete with head and feet - tastes like chicken apparently :)