Floating Near The Top Of The World
Trip Start Jan 08, 2007
139Trip End Oct 01, 2007
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After a short cruise we docked with one of the smaller floating reed islands of Uros and of course were instantly confronted by a regiment of Artisan sellers. Jumping down onto the layers and layers of Totora reeds brought an extremely odd sensation. The spongy almost springy surface reminiscent of walking over train seats rots from below hence must be continuously built up and while feeling unstable is perfectly capable of supporting a number small homes and steady torrent of gringos
Leaving Uros clinging to the reeds we proceeded further into the lake on a channel cut between the life supporting plants and headed into open water where I promptly passed out from exhaustion missing nearly the entire voyage and crisping slightly. It feels pretty cold in the wind at 3820m, however almost being high enough to hear God this also makes the suns job just that little bit easier and when we pulled into Amantani isle's jetty the day was steaming and I could remove the 3 jumpers, Poncho and Alpaca hat preventing assault from the elements!
Amantani holds on tightly to its traditions, there are no cars, no dogs, no electricity, and simply consists of a few tiny villages while the remaining entirety of the island is terraced and host to a variety of growths including potatoes, beans , Quinua and strange potato like entities that tasted wonderful.
By this hour the sun had begun to set and overshadowed by the prospect of never finding my bed and having to freeze huddled against a terraced wall I opted to pick the only concrete path heading back to town from Pachatata. There awaited Naty(Delia); Victoriano's 17 year old daughter and his wife who had carefully prepared another delicious meal and laid out an assortment of Chullos. The hat I finalised on was hand crafted by Vics wife in a month and has been decorated with symbols representing Pachamama and the Isle of Amantani.
I trundled off to bed as the stars twinkled over the dark land after an extremely tranquil and relaxing day eager for the morning boat.