Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Taquile Isla - Lake Titicaca

 Marleny's grandfather - we signed a book that recorded travellers' comments since 1982.
                                               Marleny - our guide on Amantani
 On to Taquile Isla - we were dropped off and had to walk up to the Plaza de Armas
                                             So blue the water today - Gorgeous
                                                         The entrance to the square
TaquileƱos run their society based on community collectivism and on the Inca moral code ama sua, ama llulla, ama qhilla, (Quechua for "do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy"). The island is divided into six sectors or suyus for crop rotation purposes. The economy is based on fishingterraced farming horticulture based on potato cultivation, and tourist-generated income from the approximately 40,000 tourists who visit each year.
                                                  Linda and Diane plus a ring in

                                                         The view without us
                                            And Jordan - the last of the quartet
                    What were they doing? They look like they are sitting on the roof!!!
                        Time to milk the cow. Everyone here wears traditional clothes.
        So we had lunch and then walked across the island to join our boat as you do.
                                                          The Blue is So Stunning

                                                 It was a long steep way down.

Sailing away. How magical was this weekend.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Amantani - Lake Titicaca

                On the way to Amantani the island we were to spend the night.
When we arrived we were met by a 10 year old girl who was to guide us to her house.
                                   The views along the way were spectacular.

                                         One of the adobe houses a little like ours
We stayed in our own little house with a tiny door you had to bend your head to enter. It had electricity but no running water. It gets down to 1 or 2 degrees at night and the beds had a heavy mountain of blankets. There are 10 communities on Amantani and they take turns to host the tourists in their houses.
               Our view along with braying donkey who was an effective alarm at 6am
                                                 The view from the dinner table
After lunch we all met up again to trek to Pachamama. Amantani has two mountain peaks, Pachatata ("father earth") and Pachamama ("mother earth"), with ancient Inca and Tiwanaku ruins on top of both. You only walk for 2 hours but it is steep as and you climb to 4140metres. It was a tough climb.

Spectacular and so worth it

Pachamama temple and in the distance is Bolivia
With Diane 
                                                      And we stayed for the sunset

And on the way down. Truly magnificent.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Lake Titicaca - Uros isla

Going to Lake Titicaca was an incredible experience. First you meet with guides in Cusco who accompany us to the bus terminal to catch the overnight bus to Puno at 10pm. The bus was surprisingly comfortable with retractable seats and it was heated. We arrived at 6am in the morning although the lights had been turned on since 5am. I was travelling with Diane, Canadian, from my house and Jordan, Belgian, both connected to Volunteering Peru and Linda, Danish, connected through the Spanish school.
When we arrived it was absolutely bucketing down. A woman met us and told us to get in this taxi and then disappeared. We drove through Puno not having any idea where we were and ended up at a hostal. It was very cold and very wet. There we had breakfast and the opportunity for a bit of a spruce up. At 8am a mini van arrived and we headed to the port and clambered across boats to ours. More rain and more people arrived to join us.
Not looking too auspicious. Because of the poor visibility we got caught in the reeds and had to be poled off. The driver could not navigate from inside the cabin so did from the back.

        We arrived at one of the Uros Islands. They are floating islands made out of reeds.
                                                          They feel spongey.
                                    This is a model of how they construct the island. i
                                          This is what it looks like from the water.
The people who live here keep repairing their ever sinking islands. When you walk on them they squish.
They use these boats to fish and get around - remind you of Thor Heyerdahl anyone!!!!
                                                               How it is constructed
                                            We  went for a sail. The lake is so beautiful.

                     Its a gondolier - at least he uses a pole like one to navigate. 
                                             It IS a solar panel. What a blow out!!
                                                        Plus cute little girl
     About 30 people are said to live on the island. They fish and make craft items for sale.
                             Inside one of the houses - the green bit is a double bed.
                                           A definitely different lifestyle People