Puno, Peru
15° 49' S 70° 1' W
May 15, 2007 23:49
Distance 215km

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The Floating Islands

With a lot of sadness, tears and broken hearts, we finally left La Paz and Bolivia.  We arrived to Puno, a large city just on the shore of the Titikaka lake.

From the city, we took a two days tour to the floating islands, and for two other islands - Uros and Tequila.  The first day we sailed about an hour to one of the true wonders of my trip, the floating islands.  Thess 40 islands, created about 700 years ago, are populated by people who didn't want to live on the land no more, and became fisherman and craftmen.  They build their islands from the canes that grow on the lake, and each month they put another set of canes to maintain the islands. They also tie their islands to a long sticks, stuck in the lake`s bottom, to keep them in place.  You just walk on those magical islands and can`t believe it`s real.  It`s so beautiful and yet, so magical and mysterious. Amazing.

In the afternoon we sailed for four more hours to an island called Uros, there we met our hosting family.  they were so nice and made us lunch, dinner and breakfast. It was so interesting to see how they live, without electricity and running water. We climbed the mountain on the island to see their temple, for "Mother eart" (Pacha Mamma) and "Father earth" (Pacha Tata).  Then, on the evening we went to the island`s main square for a party.  I don`t know excactly the reason for the party, but I think it was for us.  The girls put on some skirts and white shirts,and the boys put on the Ponchos.  There was a local band, playing some happy songs in Quechua, the local inca lenguage, and lots of good mood.  We danced for along time, including with the island`s elder women, the Cholas.  It was sooooo fun !!!

The next day we went to the second island, called Tequila.  We had a small walk, a lunch that we brought with us and sailed back to Puno.  Besides the amazing views of the Titikaka lake, we got to know the common men that lives there and their special way of life.  Ubsolutely one of the most experiencing things I did so far. 

Photos / videos of "The Floating Islands":