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Published: August 4th 2011
In transit to our next destinations, Julia Anna and I stopped in Puno to check out Lake Titicaca (Pronounced Teeteehaha) which is at the border of Peru and Bolivia. I had to make a decision on whether I wanted to visit the Jungle or visit Lake Titicaca and Arequipa. Prior to my arrival in Peru I was already a little anxious to pay the Jungle a visit, the following reasons being; I´m terrified of creepy crawlers and snakes that have the capability of biting me with toxic venom ISH! Another reason being that I always happen to come across someone with a horror story from the Jungle, For example: About a month ago there were two travelers floating down the river in the Jungle, when natives happened to spot them and naturally assumed that they had valuables, so what do they do? THEY SHOT THEM TO DEATH!!! After attempting to loot their belongings and finding nothing of value, they cut them up and hid the remains. That story did it for me right there. Although they say if your with a guide you won´t be harmed, I know that I would be too paranoid to enjoy the jungle with a relaxed
state of mind. Perhaps i´ll make it to the Amazons once I reach Brazil, but for now I am really enjoying the fact that I have control.
Puno itself is very small compared to Lima and Cusco. With the advice of others, we literally used Puno as a pit stop for about two days. The main and really only attraction is to visit the floating Islands (there are about 60) on Lake Titicaca, which is the biggest lake in South America. We opted for a half day tour of Uros. We took a boat which lasted about 30 minutes to the Island. Of course the boat was occupied with Israeli´s, which was exciting because I got to use my favorite phrase "La Mama"! Joking of course. Once we made it to Uros, a "local" educated us on the construction and functions of the Island. The Island´s are literally man made from natural products (Uros of floating reeds). No bricks, cement, stone are utilized in the creation, simply plant products. Aside from the houses, the surfaces need to be maintained every 15 days to avoid a sinking island or leaks. Depending on the size of the Island, the average amount
of habitants are around 5 - 7 families (44 people on average), which whom speak Quechua and Aymara depending on the location. They make a living by catering to the tourists such as boat taxis to another island, selling souveneirs, providing a bed for the traveler to spend a night or selling snacks. The diet for the locals is also very restricted, it consists of potatoes, certain edible plants, corn.
Puno itself wasn´t the most exciting place, aside from the Lake, we found it to be a grey city. I should note that the main square was pleasant and there was also a main street called Lima that had many nice restaurants and shops.
It was at Puno where I had to depart from Anna and Julia. They were moving on to Bolivia, but I opted out because like most countries in South America, I have to pay a hefty fee for entry. I am actually finding this to be extremely frustrating because thanks to our lovely government who makes international entrance HELL, North Americans are bascially the only ones who have to pay entry/Visa fees. It was very strange to seperate from the girls, I know i´ll
miss them like crazy! The good news is we´ll have the chance to reunite in Argentina!
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