Monday, 21 October 2013

Puno & Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca, looking towards Puno

Uros Island talk
We arrived in Puno from Cusco after our train journey (see post). There is not a hell of a lot to keep you here. A Plaza de Armas, a Plaza de Mayor, and Lima Street (tourist shops, banks and restaurants). That's about it. It is a gateway for tours to on Lake Titicaca.
We arrived at night and booked a tour for the next day. We were picked up at 7am and taken to a 'fast' boat (we paid more for the fast boat to get back to town at 4 instead of 6pm).

All dressed up..
The boat was comfortable and the Von Trapp lady and her husband from the train were on the tour.

First stop was Uros, the floating islands just 30 mins away from Puno. The people live on these islands (or some are just here for the tourists, the wealthier ones) and pretty much everything they do revolves around the reeds, their islands are man made from the reeds and the reeds roots, their huts are reeds, their boats, their beds, their roofs, and their handicrafts are, you guessed it, reeds.

Impressive reed boat

After a 20 minute talk on their lives and meeting the 'president' of the island (each island has a president), we were taken to see their huts and how they live by a little girl. It was just the two of us who the girl took, and she decided to dress Ellen up - skirt, jacket, hat, pom poms - while Angel laughed...until the girl began to dress him up. Quite fun, but we looked hilarious.
After the island tour we were put into a reed boat (quite impressive, 2 story seating area!) and two of the girls from the island rowed us down the 'river' to another island where our tour boat met us.

Taquile Island, our lunch view
After about 1.5 hours we arrived at the 2nd island of the tour - Taquile - the 3rd largest island on Lake Titicaca and home to several settlements (each one has an arched gate along the path to it). Here we learned that the men knit and the women weave. We bought some stuff and then headed for a small trek to the house of the family who were going to cook us lunch. Ellen had a great trout lunch and as Angel does not eat seafood, an omlet was made, it was tasty.
Then it was a 2 hour ride back to town.

Later that night we met up with Rosie & Darren who had been on our Inca Tour and Train trip and we had dinner together at Mojsa according to our hotel owner and Trip Advisor is 'the best restaurant in Puno' (which would not be hard).

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