Island Hopping

Trip Start Nov 03, 2012
Trip End Dec 31, 2012

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This morning after a breakfast of pancakes and jam we left the family with a present of some rice, sugar and a little money.
Heading down to the bay via what seemed to be a secret stair case as it was the only way of getting to the boats without crossing the path of multiple stalls.  Papa seemed to know this as he looked back and grinned at us after gesturing to the stalls.  Our guess was that the guests who had brought gifts for the family were taken down the secret stair case, and those that hadn't... past the stalls.

Catching our boat to the next island was a small adventure in its self. The seas (ok. It's a lake, but its massive, had a tide and this day, had a 2 meter swell.) were somewhat combative.
More than once in our trip we experienced a lurch, pause, thump as we breached one wave, hovered and tried to cut through the next wave but failed.

We arrived after 45mins of lurching from side to side at a smaller but equally steep island. The guide books spoke of a 500+ step walk from the shore to the central plaza.
No longer so.
It had been replaced by a much longer sloping walk.
On our way, through one of the many arched door ways we found a girl who's stall contained nicknacks we could not do without. So we bought some.  We seem to buy as though it's the last time we'll ever see such nicknacks only to discover around the corner 50 more ladies selling similar items - and that's just on the current walk!

The central plaza on the island (Taquile) was the home of the craft centre, run and operated purely by men. The women here spin the yarn but it is the men who do the knitting/craft work. Starting with their red headwear that signified their marital status (all red=married, white top half=single) on to many other craft related objects of which, being crafted out, we had no interest and sat against a wall waiting for the tour to continue. Which.
It did.

We walked out of the town square, past a small cemetery and across a field before climbing the back steps of a home which was temporarily bring used as a lunch venue by the tour company.
Options were omelette or trout. We had one of each.

The trail now wound around the island and crested the hill to reveal a different harbour to which our boat had thankfully cruised to in the meantime.
A harbour requiring 500+ steps to get to. But at least it was down.
Last minutes to grab supplies before boarding the boat for a 2 3/4 hour trip back to Puno on, fortunately, calmer waters.

On arrival in Puno (it was raining), we were very pleased to discover that a taxi back to our hotel was included as part of the tour.  Back at San Antonio Suites we collected our luggage and washing (we'd left it to be cleaned while we were away - 16S by weight - we should find lighter clothes) before heading back to the restaurant on the town square.

It was packed with other like minded tourists including a large group of English at the table next to us.  Having learned our previous lesson we avoided selecting any dishes that sounded like they were cheese laden.  Some garlic bread (a pita pocket filled with, yes, you guessed it, garlic cheese), some ham and cheese (well...) empanada things with guacamole which were very tasty and not that heavily cheesed, and a pepperoni pizza (again we say well...).  Surprisingly we finished it although it was a challenge.   Oh and we ordered what, after Tina convinced Alexis incorrectly, we thought were Pisco Sours but ended up being the Peruvian equivalent of an Affagatto minus the espresso and the ice-cream.  The taste of tea, Pisco and lime eventually grew on us but we wont rush to have another one.

Then, after another quick shopping expedition (the shops seem to be open all hours here and Tina loves it!), back to the room to back and prepare for the early wake-up to board the Inca Express bus.    
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