Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
Trip End Oct 14, 2009

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, December 11, 2008

After returning to Cucso from Machu Picchu we headed out the next day on a 6 hour bus ride to Puno. 
The buses here are fairly nice.  On this ride we took a tourist bus so we got to visit with other travelers and such.  They played some movies for us (which I wish they hadn´t as they were blasting them through the speakers).  First was August Rush - which is okay.  Then they decided that a bunch of 20-something year olds would enjoy watching ¨Two Rivers¨ I believe it´s from the 1940´s.  Oh boy.  On this bus ride we also enjoyed a sandwich...a shredded chicken and french fry sandwich - with just a little chicken.  It was weird but we still ate it - not too bad.

Now, I'm not sure why Puno gets such a bad rap but we enjoyed it.  We only stayed for one night as there really isn't much to do there.  We walked around the Plaza (every city in Peru has one), visited a church, had some cervasas and a great meal at a place called Kero's.  At first we were the only ones in the restaurant, then a big group of Aussies arrived and behind them was a 6 man band that was awesome.  We ate our first Alpaca steak - which was pretty good.  I was doing fine until the Aussie's ordered a guinea pig.  It came completely intact - head and all.  Then their tour guide started eating the head.  That was enough.  Gross.  I know we should try it because it's a Peruvian specialty and is supposed to taste like chicken but I can't eat something that still has a face.  I was already thinking about what the Alpaca looked like.  I wonder how I can eat beef so much back home.
The next day we got up early and went out to the floating islands on Lake Titikaka and met the Uros people.  These people are great.  We had a little explanation of how they create the islands and they told us about their lifestyle.  Basically, they use these reeds for everything - to make the islands, their homes, their dinners and their crafts.  They also eat some birds and eggs along with frogs (booo). 

The islands themselves were so neat.  It felt like we were walking on a field of thick foam .  They gave us some reeds to eat, however, I read that a lot of tourists get sick from them, so we just pretended to eat them.  I know, I know, we should have, but I don't want to be sick.   After their presentation we had time to look around for ourselves.  Before Brian and I could even stand up, one of the women told us to follow her.  We weren't sure why but we did and she took us into her little home.  Her husband (who did the presentation) and her little daughter joined us too.  They showed us their house, which was a one room "hut" made completely of dried reeds and had a bed - also made of reeds.  The island had received some solar panels from a donation and the husband was so excited to show Brian his lightblub.  While in their home they showed us some handmade goods that they both had made.  Being so impressed we ended up buying way too many things from them but it was worth it has they are really well made and haven´t seen anything like them around.  They even gave us gifts for being guests in their home - necklaces for us both.  Finally, the guide came looking for us as everyone was waiting.  When we came out the rest of our group was already in the boat.  We're not sure but don't think they got to visit anyone's home.   We were pretty lucky to have them invite us in.  Maybe people do like Americans...
Next we took a reed boat to another island and the daughter from the family we visited sang songs for us during our trip.  See the video.  She was sooo cute.  Brian and I agree that Peruvian children have to be some of the cutest on earth.  Also, since we've been here, we have seen nothing but happy kids playing.  They just seem so laid back and peaceful.  None of them cry - they are just all so happy.
Lake Titikaka was wonderful and something I'll never forget.  Partly, because Brian and I burnt our hands to a crisp and our heads.  We can hardly comb our hair.  Ouch.
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