Monday, February 17, 2014

Lake Titicaca, Puno

On January 28 we got up bright and early for our boat ride on Lake Titicaca to visit the floating islands made by the Uru people and Tequile Island, the largest island on the lake (on the Peru side).

Lake Titicaca is shared with Peru and Bolivia. 60% of the lake is on the Peru side and it is known as the highest navigable lake in the world at 3,812 meters above sea level. It is also the largest lake (by volume) in South America. It was the one day I forgot to put sunblock on and boy, did I get sunburnt. Altitude sickness + sunburn = unhappy Christine.

Check out the map of Lake Titicaca - upside down, you can see that the lake is shaped like a puma!

Puno lighthouse 

Walking to our boat

On the roof of the boat enjoying the view of the lake

Pretty reflections

There are about 40-50 of these floating islands on the lake

Each island is made by the Uros (pre-Incan people) using totora reeds

We get to visit one of these islands

Here we are on Cantahway (unsure of spelling) Island 

Paul is excited!

I am too!

This is Raul - he is 35 years old and the president of this island.

He shows us how they build the islands

Here's a small model of a floating island

We get to try some totora reeds; we were warned not to take a big bite since our
stomachs aren't used to it.

I took a small bite and no problem! Paul didn't even want to risk it.

Raul is getting the boat ready for us

The islands last 20-25 years and take about 1 year to build

5 families live on this island - about 22 people

Raul with some of the ladies of the island

It's hard for Paul to fit in these houses

We are invited into a house

This home fits 5 people - equipped with a hula hoop! My mom would be impressed.

And every house of course, needs a TV

She let me try on some traditional clothes

Can you tell it was a little cold?

We got to ride on this boat also made from totora reeds

Life size and model sized

The kids liked the boat we came on

They also were ready to attack some birds

Boys will be boys

Hanging out on a small boat

On the traditional boat as the ladies sing and wave good-bye to us. They even said, "Hasta la vista, baby!"

Another boat behind us

The kids joined us on our ride

Raul is rowing

It looks hard.

The kids enjoyed messing with Paul

We stopped at another island for some shopping, tea and puppies!

We then got back on our boat to travel 2+ hours to Tequile Island.

Along the way we saw a few islands

We arrived on Tequile Island

Looking towards Bolivia - too bad we couldn't visit Bolivia too

Locals - these specific hats and pouches signify they are married

We have some steep hills to climb

Passing by some sheep

Doesn't capture the steepness

We are a bit behind the rest of the group. It was steep and the altitude was not helping me.

I don't mind falling behind since I got to take more photos

We made it to the main square

Of this list, we were in Tokio, Sidney, NuevaDelhi, and Lhasa!

Panoramic from the main square

Only 6,702 kilometers to Nueva York...

The houses look pretty cool

Alley way

Local girl giving me the stink eye

More local married men

Hanging out

Walking towards the restaurant for lunch

Traditional garb and hat for a married man

Walking to the other side of the island to catch our boat back to Puno

It was really pretty here!

Making bricks

Walking down the hill was a little easier than walking up

It's hard to get lost here

Looking back at the path we walked

The water is so clear here

Back on the boat.

Looking back at Tequile Island


Feel free to leave comments - would love to hear from you. But remember to leave your name!