Lake Titicaca and the Floating Islands

Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

The next morning on very little sleep, I caught my bus to Puno, although I almost missed it because my taxi didn't turn up. The drive was actually really nice. The bus was extremely comfy, and the scenery was fantastic. We soon rolled up in Puno, a rather unattractive city with not much going for it apart from it's proximity to Lake Titicaca. Luckily, that's what I was there to see. Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America, and the highest navigable lake in the world. I got to my hostel easily enough, only to be told that they had no dorm rooms left. At this point I was still pretty exhausted, and just wanted to settle down somewhere. So luckily they had one room left, a double, and I just took it so I could sleep, as I couldn't be bothered dragging my bags elsewhere. It was actually a lovely room, with a big bed, sofas, a TV, tea and coffee and it's own computer. Plus it was ensuite. The owner of the hostel was really helpful, and said if a space opened up in the dorm room I could have it. I settled down in my room and had a well earned rest. It was nice just chilling and watching TV, although I felt a bit lonely by myself, even more so when I went and had dinner alone, and got some weird looks from the waiter when I asked for a table for one. 

I had to have another early wake up the next day, as I had booked a full day tour of the Lake and Islands. Whilst having breakfast I met a pair of Canadian twins and a Spanish guy who were also going on the trip, so we pretty quickly made friends, and off we went for our tour. It was a 20 minute boat trip out to the Floating Islands, which were made by the local people out of soil and reeds, and float on the lake. As soon as we arrived I got the feeling I wouldn't like the tour. And I was right. It was just so touristy. The women living on the Island gave a talk, and showed us how they made the islands, then they took some of the group who wanted to pay extra on on of their boats for 10 minutes. I even had a little girl trying to sell me her drawings. It was all about money, and seemed pretty fake, and I just didn't enjoy it. The guys all felt the same way. The islands were pretty cool though, you even sunk into the reeds in some spots! After our stop there we got back on the boat for another 2 hours till we got to Taquille, an actual island on the lake. Here I said goodbye to my new friends as they were staying with a family on the island for a night. We then went to have lunch with a local family, which was basic, but very nice. The island had lovely views of the lake too. Then we were allowed to wander for a bit, before getting back on the boat and going back to Puno. So really, not a great tour. It was cool seeing the Lake and the islands, but I didn't enjoy it hugely.

  I was pretty keen to get out of Puno actually. It wasn't a very nice place, and I wanted to get to Arequipa and the Colca Canyon! So the next day it was off again! 
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