Tootle on Titikaka

Trip Start Feb 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 25, 2013

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

I just love mucking about on boats....  

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.  We watched a group till a field that had been left fallow for five years.  The tools were effective and simple.  They do go to market for things they can't make themselves so they are very keen for you to buy their woven items.  
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....  
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janetH on

Another way of putting that is 'the more you know, the more you realise how little you know', and how true. Mind you, after reading your info packed journal entries I feel I know just a little more than I did.
About those close fitted and mortar-less stone walls you mentioned earlier - well, we saw something similar built by the lost race of the 'Anasazi' from the south western states of the USA - and yes, they are absolutely amazing for their exacting fit. Sort of lends weight to the Von Daniken theory of visitors from outer space handing down to the primitive inhabitants unbelievable mathematical skills and workmanship. Well, it works for me!
Raining and very sticky here again so I'm envious of your mild looking weather.
Keep 'em coming Robyn and you'll soon have enough to publish!!

Renee on

sounds like an endlessly fascinating day ... any tea cosies being knitted?

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