2019-05-28 Casa Adina Premium Hotel, Puno, Peru

This morning we have a 7 am start for a full day tour of Lake Titicaca
Fortunately the weather is clear and sunny and reasonably mild for this time of morning
Arriving at the marina we see hundreds of small boats tied up by the shores
Tourist boats of all shapes and sizes, one by one head out on the lake with tourists aboard
Looking back to Puno as we depart
On our way to visit one of the Uros islands we pass some friendly local gentleman
It is quite incredible that there is a whole community of descendants of pre Inca people living on floating islands that are man made from clumps of an aquatic plant called tortora and their reeds
The inhabitants of these floating islands have built houses and boats from bundles of the dried totora reeds. The islands themselves are made from piles and piles of reeds layered on top of the floating root system of the totora plant which has been tied together. It is quite amazing to see how they live and survive here in Lake Titicaca
We were taken out on one of the Uros community’s boats and saw how the reeds were collected
The women are all dressed in colourful clothing
A local guide is available to translate and explain the lifestyle of these lovely people who live on these man made islands and show the process how the islands are formed …… see the root clumps in the photo
The local ladies spend a lot of their time sewing and embroidering cloths which they sell to tourists to sustain their livelihood
The ladies from this island give a lovely performance of singing in their local language
Naturally we have to take home a souvenir from our visit to the Uros Islands
Looking back to the small floating island we had just visited
Once we were back aboard the tourist boat in which we had departed Puno, we headed south west through the reeded canals
It is surprising that mostly men are the knitters in the local island community
Over 40 minutes later we arrive at another island called Taquile
Our boat group of approximately a dozen and a half people, set off together with a guide to explore the island including having lunch at a local casa
On our stroll along wonderful stone paths we meet two important men from the local community’s mayor’s office who are dressed in their official clothing
The entrance to the village where we will be having lunch
Although the weather was very sunny and clear today, the air temperature was only around 17 degrees C
Our guide prepares to give our group an introduction to the way of life on the island and shows some of the handicrafts made by the locals. The locals run their society based on community collectivism and on the Inca moral code (do not steal, lie or be lazy).
It was interesting to hear our guide explain that the men do most of the knitting in this island community. They knit items for sale to the tourists and for the locals and knit clothing and hats for themselves and also a belt which tells their own life story
The hats are fabulous!!! The Peruvian flute makes an amazing haunting sound when played
It is time for lunch and we all gather around a few tables to enjoy some of the local cuisine
The local lemon soup was delicious
For main course we enjoy some local river trout which is abundant in the area
One of the local girls dressed in some of the traditional clothing
The island is quite fertile and there is terraced farming horticulture based on potato cultivation. The economy is also reliant on fishing and of course tourism
After lunch we start to make our way back down the other side of the island which overlooks the wonderful terracing
We pass the local sandy beach on Taquile Island
Over the past years tourism has played a significant part to the economy of the small island
We make our departure and travel 40 kms back to the floating islands on Lake Titicaca
The women that live on the islands are very capable when it comes to transport on the water as they are very strong and are good rowers
On our return to Puno we again pass the amazing floating Uros Islands
This gentleman had not stopped knitting during the whole journey from Tanquile Island
A little cuttie travelling back with her parents
Approaching Puno
Once we returned to Puno we decided to get a taxi into the main town square, as we had not been to the centre of town as yet
Local women out shopping in their traditional hats, skirts and colourful wraps
After our brief stop in the city centre we return to Casa Andina
Some of the hotel guests after a day of sightseeing had a problem with lack of oxygen because of the altitude. The hotel supplied oxygen bottles to those that needed it!

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