Lago Titcaca

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Flag of Peru  ,
Monday, July 19, 2010

Again this will be a quick summary as I've still weeks of updating to do! We spend a good week around Lago Titicaca, the highest navigatable lake in the world (approx. 3,800metres). It's also surprisingly massive and at no point at which we approached it could we get an overall view of it.

Our first stop was the Islas Uros or the floating islands. These islands, numbering about 40 in total, are hand built islands constructed from the local tortora reed. They were apparently constructed during the reign of the Incan empire so that the islands could be de-anchored and floated away from the shore when necessary. Nowadays, while theyre still occupied, their primary purpose is pretty much tourism and while defenitely interesting to visit its defenitely not a very genuine experience. Everything the islands said tended to be for the sole purpose of coin collection.

The next day we visited Amantani island three hours from the shore. Here we stayed with a local family. We had potato soup for lunch followed by boiled potatoes and boiled oca, a tuber similar to poato but not as nice. After lunch we climed to the highest point on the island to see the sunset, which was predictibly spectacular. We returned for dinner which was boiled rice and, eh, potatoes. That night we headed for the beach where we had amazing views of the stars. Next morning we got up horribly early to see the sunrise and returned for breakfast which was, you guessed it, potato based but with an egg thrown in just to convince you that it was indeed breakfast! So basically our whole experience of the island was sky and spud based. Still for an irishman that's not so bad a thing.

We then took the boat for a quick visit to the smaller Taquile Island nearby. Best to see the photos!

Our next and last island to visit was the Isla de Sol on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca. This was my personal favourite. The island, much bigger and less populated than the others, has a great sense of openess. There are no cars and you can walk almost everywhere on the island. We started at the southern village of Yumani and stayed two night. We visited the north during the second day to see it's Incan ruins. See photos

Next day it was back to Copacabana town, our point of departure to the Isla del Sol.

Our final Titicaca destination was LLachon, a hamlet to the north of Puno in Peru. It doesn't see many tourists but it's a beautiful spot right on the shore of the lake. In fact it has a similar feel to the islands. We took our time here very easy, only exerting ourselves for one half day walk and a quick walk along the lake shore.

Other than a brief visit to La Paz afterwards, this concluded S.'s time in South Americay. It was sad to see her go and then to return to the solo hobo traveling, but it had to be done.
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