Our last stop in Peru was an uneventful city called Puno. Although we didn´t find much to offer from the city it does reside on the famous Lake Titica, which straddles the border of both Peru and Bolivia and boasts to be the highest navigable lake in the world at 12,000 feet. Some of the main items of interest are the floating islands off the coast of Puno called the Uros Islands.
After a quick 30 minute boat ride you begin to see this fascinating site. There are about 60 islands here. Each island has about 25 people living on it and each island is man made with reed. It’s such a strange site as you pull up to these creations. As the boat drove around these islands women on each island were waving you down as much of their income comes from tourists gawking at this way of living. Our island had a large fish on it which had something to do with the name but unfortunately due to my stellar memory I cannot recall the name. The language they speak on these islands is Aymara which makes it a bit more difficult for memory recall as well – do you like how I try to justify? As I stepped off the boat it felt a bit like walking on a mattress as you sink a little with each step. Each island has a President and on ours there were four houses and the people were friendlier then you can possibly imagine. They gave us heartfelt tours of their tiny accomodations where kitchens consisted of a mere stone on the ground with a tea kettle and a bed in the corner. We had the pleasure of getting to tour El Presidente’s living quarters. They dressed us up in their traditional garb and it was great fun.
I have been so good about not buying any souvenirs but here I broke down and got this wonderful piece of art that the women of the island sew that tells their story through monogrammed like pictures. It was reminescent of many of the things I found endearing about Peru so I don´t regret the buy at all. As we left the fascination of how these people live they waved us goodbye and it’s one trip that will always remain special to me.