(Written a few days ago. Internet issues.)
After a rainy and not so comfortable night in Puno (my room didn’t even have a window) I had to be up super early for my tour of Lake Titicaca, yes go ahead and laugh. In Quechua, an Incan language, it actually means stone puma. They have a slight obsession with pumas here.
I got on the boat and realized that nobody spoke English. And most did not speak Spanish. It was a huge mix of languages. I was thinking it may be hard to make friends today, but I’m going to try!
Our first stop was on the Uros Islands. These are man made, yes man made islands built of reeds found in the lake. These reeds are their lifeline as the people of Uros use them to build their islands, build their homes, make boats out of, eat, and produce art. Many of these islands survive off of tourism. The tour companies rotate which ones they visit because their are so many. They are certainly unique.
Once we visited the first island, we took the “Mercedes Benz” of reed boats to another island. This one mostly had things for sale, but there were a few “houses” with mattresses in them. They don’t go home when the tourists leave for the day. These really are their homes, which shows me I can survive on a LOT less than I have.
We got back in the boat for another 90 minutes or so, making our way to the Taquille Island. This is a natural island where a large population of people with pre Incan customs live. It was gorgeous. We climbed up to a local house where the family taught us about their traditions and served us lunch. We got quinoa soup, which is huge in Peru, and grilled trout. Except for my beloved sushi, I am NOT a fish eater. I decided to give it a try and it was delicious. My mom would be so proud.
At lunch I made my best attempt to talk to people, and one guy spoke English, success! His name is Joseph from Barcelona. We were both relieved to have someone to talk to and hung out the rest of the tour. After lunch we continued to climb up the hills of the island for about forty minutes, with our main destination being the main square. The square didn’t have much going on, but the walk up was stunning.
The life on these islands seems very simple, but very happy. Maybe that’s the way it should be.
We made our way back down to the water, took the boat back to Puno, and went to our hotels. I went out super early to get a quick dinner. I’d like to say that Puno charmed me while not pouring, but it was nothing to write home about. Plus it was cold. I’m talking November/December in Chicago cold. I opted for the heater in my not so nice room and a Big Bang Theory marathon with Spanish subtitles. Early to bed for another 5am wake up call.
“Heaven Go Easy On Me” -The Head and the Heart