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Published: October 29th 2012
floating islandPuuuh too much to tell
the president showing us how these islands are built.
So the first place I visited was Lake Titicaca, with James. Arriving in Puno, we visited the local market to get some breakfast, as this is the only place thats open at 5.30 in the morning (surely will miss that when I return home...)!!
Our tour finally started at 7.30am and the first stop was a floating island. Its weird, they are built on floating roots, covered with plants and very soft to walk on, they have to put new grass on them every short while, as it would be too muddy otherwise. The island hosts 10 families, in total about 32 people. There are about 70 floating islands on the lake! And each one of them lasts about 15 years I seem to remember. The president of the island that we visited demonstrated us how it is built (you can see it on the pictures!). Very interesting and the maintenance must be very hard work.. So we visited the inhabitans homes, walked around, talked to the kids and the life on such islands is very different, the president doesnt have an income, they live as a community and every sunday they go to
a market and swap the fish they fished for some potatoes and other stuff, money doesnt play a big role and the only income is probably what tourists buy from them (handicrafts...).
Afterwards we went to a natural island Taquile, where we had a lunch and had some time to wander a bit around. which is actually rather difficult as the Lake Titicaca itself lays at almost 4000masl!!
Now here is what I found most admiring: we think we are so "modern" in our western world, but what I found out from the very very TRADITIONAL locals is that a couple will never get forced to get married, it is normal for them to live together for 2-3 years and see if they get along. If they dont, they just separate and no one will judge them for that. If they do, they will get married BY CHOICE but then they will be married forever, there is no such thing as divorce. Isnt that amazing? But considering that the life expectation on that island is 95-100 years its no surprise that they chose to be careful who they marry 😊
Well for sure this was an amazing
one next to the other
trip with such great insights to a completly different culture.
Obviously -with my luck- the last bus to La Paz departed long before we got back to Puno, so I was forced to stay the night in Puno, whereas James had his bus back to Cusco in the night. We had a last dinner together and said bye. He was definitely a great companion to travel around for a few days, however he did give the children chocolate and probably led the family to bankrupcy because of that 😊
So the next day, after the border crossing, I got searched for the FIRST TIME, since beginning of this trip, by police! They searched all my bags and had a laugh at my passport picture, so it was a relaxed atmosphere 😊 I didnt quite enjoy it as much the next 3 times, as we got stopped by police every hour as it seemed to get the bags searched, while we were asked to leave the bus and wait... in the desserted road in the heat... not fun.
I finally arrived in La Paz and first thing I took was a local bus (which was a great adventure)
to get to my hostel, Wild Rover, an extreme party hostel, anyone ever coming here: dont take the biggest dorm: the first night involved a girl peeing on a guys bag at 2am, while half asleep, the second involved two Israelis wrestling at 1am and on the third I probably got used to the noise...
La Paz is not a pretty city, but it is packed with life. There is something about this city...
Well today is Monday the 29th of October and Im suffering from yesterdays biketour along the Death Road...-mostly from the blisters on my hands from clinging on the brakes of the bike!! Its freaking insane. The views, if you dare to look off the road, are incredible! Our group consisted of 6 girls, all about the same age, so we had a great time together, racing down the gravity road...
...one took too much speed...chasing down... and... FALLING off her bike. Clinging with one hand to the edge of the road... no... well, Im joking. I think its not that easy to fall over the edge, she did fall off her bike though. Hurting her arm a little and resulting in
her jumping on the van that was following us throughout the trip for the rest of the road. It was 56 kilometers in total, sounds a lot but its not really, as it goes downhill almost throughout the entire road.
Afterwards we got to relax in a pool in the sunshine and look back at this amazing trip!!
I will probably leave La Paz tonight, its been great but time is ticking and I need to move further 😊)
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