It gets cold up here

Trip Start Aug 23, 2008
Trip End Jun 15, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, September 11, 2008

We weren´t looking forward to this place after trekking the canyon. We were told you´ll be wearing all your clothes in bed at night and you´d still need about five blankets because of the altitude (the lake's at 3830m and Puno rises around it). We must have got lucky because it wasn´t that cold.

We´ll keep this short because we didn´t have a lot of craic. Just took it easy and stuffed our face full of ´Chiffa´ which is Chinese in Peru. Keva is buzzing because you can always get a good Chinese when you're feeling low.
Floating IslandsBefore and after superimposedFloating Island houseFloating Island People
The whole craic with Puno is lake Titicaca and it's various islands, each with their own culture and sometimes their own language. The most spectacular of them are the  Islas Flotantes (Floating Islands) and yes they really are floating islands made of reeds and they're inhabited by hundres if not thousands of people. They're located about 5km out from Puno and are made of reeds, the top layer being constantly replenished every month as the bottom layers rot. The Uros people who live on them built them so they could isolate themselve from all the aggressive Incas and Collas in the arean hundreds of years ago.
Floating Island area
Anyway, enough of the lecture, we had to go see them as there is nothing else like it in the world. We booked a tour with the hostel to go there and were a wee bit dissapointed to be picked up in a flash tour bus packed with tourists. The islands are stunning but this experience feels very fake. You don't really get to wander about them and what time you have not listening to the tour guide is for the locals to display their overpriced trinkets in front of you. I can just picture the locals when they see the boats coming 'Pedro, get into your room and get those nike air max classics and that AC Milan top off you and get into your stokey traditional gear, there's money to be made'. I don't mean to be ungreatful but I thought a portion of the tour fee was for the locals. Apparenyly you can hire a private boat and go to the more remote ones further out, but then that´s our fault for being too lazy to do that.
´Tastes better than my da's wedges'Edge of the island close upFloating Island People 2Floating Island Wane
We didn't want to go to the other non floating islands as Keva may not have hacked the three hour boat ride and I thought the pictures didn't look any more spectacular than Tory, which we can do at home.

Anyway, next stop Cusco and Keva's motivation for this whole Peru business - Machu Picchu. On the bus out these old women got on with some bus 'snacks'. In front of us she opened a sack with a side of a cooked pig in it and started hacking at it with her machete type knife. For about 10p you get a plastic sandwich bag with a baked spud and some scaggy looking pork in it. The Peruvians beat it into them. Keva nearly puked at the smell. I'm telling you, it was all in the presentation.
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quigsnclinty on

Re: Yeeoo!
Meabh remember that job isnt for life your going to be a big bad teacher soon enough. haha You better start saving the pennies and meet us both it would be class. You have a year to get it sorted. Miss you all. Tell Colm i said hello. Chat soon. xxx

quigsnclinty on

Re: hi there
Dont you worry auntie the appetite is back and i havent stopped eating i even ate the food on the plane. We have just arrived in Rio and it hasnt stopped raining. So much for going to the beach.

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