Tootle on Titikaka
Trip Start Feb 02, 2013
41Trip End Mar 25, 2013
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Today we went out onto Lake Titikaka and had the joy of tour leader Reuben, so I had the ear worm of Reuben James going through my head all day - oh, great, now it's started again! You go, Kenny!!
The lake is at 3800 meters above sea level and I think all of us were feeling the altitude just a bit. A quick jog up a set of stairs just isn't as easy as it usually is. Strange sensation. I keep finding myself doing Darth Vader impressions!
We went across to the floating reed city of Uros on the lake. The floating reed platforms are marvels of ingenuity and originated from the boats similar in design to the balsa wood vessel called the Kon Tiki I saw when I was a child.
The people are in their traditional dress and there is a great sense of theatrics about their welcome. The culture is maintained as tourism is quite lucrative for them, but Rueben suggested the actual way of life is dying. Many of the young people choose now to live in towns and those that work with the tourists seem like they have performed their roles too many times. It was an education to learn about their history ( I won't go on about the Spanish again), their lifestyle, their family traditions and the way they assemble their floating city so I am quite glad I had the experience.
I had the pleasure of meeting two girls by the names of Sandra and Luzmry (rhymes with Rosemary). They were a bit taken with mr blond hair and decided they would plat it and tie it with pieces of shredded plastic bag. Luzmry, the younger sister, kept looking not into, but at, my eyes. I think blue eyes made her laugh!?! They then sang us some songs and passed around a hat. They were good business women!
We then motored another hour and twenty to reach the Island of Tequile. The people on this Island consider themselves the last true Inkas as they have chosen to live life by Inka law. There are only three laws - do not steal, do not lie, and do not be lazy. They have chosen to and succeeded in opting out of Peru and do not rely on the state for anything. The poulation is about 2000. They have a leader, the island is divided up into six areas with six chiefs, six chief assistants and six women who get together to sort out any problems on the island. They pay a percentage of all they earn into the coffers of the island and any major work that needs doing they do it all themselves. This island has no electricity or power of any kind, no plumbing, no cars, no donkeys, not even a pushbike or wheelbarrow. Everything is by manual labour.
As their law is to not be lazy, the men stand around and talk, but they will all be knitting and boy, can they knit! The patterns are in their heads and they seem to pay very little attention to their flying fingers. The women use looms. This is very clearly defined by gender, which is interesting because it seems like little else is.
We had a great lunch of farmed trout. There are few fish left in the lake proper, just tiny little things but apparently they are working on restocking despite two previous ( disastrous ) attempts. It was a very interesting day all up. The stuff you don't know you don't know....