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Published: February 3rd 2011
Of all the places that we have been Lake Titicaca has to be the place with the most satisfying sounding name. If you are reading this on your own say it out loud emphasising the plosives and youÂ´ll see what I mean. If however you are in a room full of people for the good of your career save it for later.
Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world lapping the shores of both Bolivia and Peru. Locals gave it its name because its shaped like a Puma - any of you that have seen a map of the area will realise that it is a very abstract Puma.
The main town on the Peruvian side, Puno is nothing to write home about but take to the water and explore the islands you see what the lake has to offer. The uros islands have been created by the inhabitants (see the video) out of earth and reeds. With over 50 islands it is rather like having lots of communities living on trampolines. Unfortunately our guidebook somewhat spoiled the illusion by saying locals come back to Puno each evening after the tourists have gone home.
more stable is the island of Taquile where the inhabitants distinct dress stands them apart from your average Peruvian. Locals have developed a formal system where they can try living with potential spouses for 3, 6, or 12 months before deciding whether they want to get married - pretty sensible considering the island doesnt recognise divorce.
Finally Amantani island which is home to about 800 families. Primarily a farming community, you can get a taster of island life by staying for a night or two with a local family. With no cars or electricity its a great place to get back to basics.
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