Lake Titicaca and the floating islands

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January 31st 2011
Published: February 7th 2011
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Bus ride to PunoBus ride to PunoBus ride to Puno

These are Taximotos or Mototaxis. Three wheeled motorbikes, with a fancy canvas cover. Some of them are peddled manually. Some cities use them alot.
Hi everyone,
After almost two weeks in the sacred valley region of Cuzco, we moved south (and up hill) to Puno on the shore of Lago Titicaca (pronounced "Lago Titi haha") or Lake Titicaca. One of the highest navigable lakes in the world at 3820 metres above sea level. We visited 3 islands on the lake. A floating Island, Isla Amantani, and Isla Taquille. The islands were almost in a different time period (which is a possibility as our bus driver drove at the speed of light to Puno). The inhabitants still wear traditional handmade clothes and they still practice a trade/bartering system and eat what ever is in season on the islands. The people remain vegetarian except on special occasions when they feast on their chickens..
Another great part of the island life is that there are no vehicles and limited electricity which is provided by a few solar panels.
The town of Puno was more of a staging point for us to visit the islands but it did have a special kind of charm - every car was a taxi, they all honked their horns simultaneously and they all drove bumper to bumper at mach 9. Oh, and the
Floating IslandsFloating IslandsFloating Islands

These people make their islands to live on. UNESCO has recognized them for their amazing weaving and their contributions to humanity. Everything is made from the reeds that grow in Lake Titicaca.
food was good!

By the way we are reading all of your comments and are enjoying all of them. Thanks!
Hasta luego nuestras amigos!
T y D

Additional photos below
Photos: 25, Displayed: 22


Tasty reedsTasty reeds
Tasty reeds

not only are these reeds good building materials, they taste pretty good too!
How to build a floating islandHow to build a floating island
How to build a floating island

Each family harvists a few blocks of the roots of the reeds (as shown here) from the lake. Then they are tied together, and layers of reeds are layered criss crossed for a good solid floor. Each island has 6 to 10 families and a president. The dude on the right is the president of the island we visited. Yes, the photo is taken on the island. The floating island is also anchored down as we were 20 meters deep here, with the island´s thickness only about 1 to 2 meters. Walking was a bit wobbly at times.
Dave helps to paddle the reed boatDave helps to paddle the reed boat
Dave helps to paddle the reed boat

his long legs were getting a bit in the way. It pays to be short in Peru! haha
Our group of TuristicosOur group of Turisticos
Our group of Turisticos

Sitting on the reed benches.
on the Incan ruins sacred site on Amantanion the Incan ruins sacred site on Amantani
on the Incan ruins sacred site on Amantani

Pacha Mama - or Mother Earth
All dressed up for the dance on AmantaniAll dressed up for the dance on Amantani
All dressed up for the dance on Amantani

Every night, the locals have a dance that we Gringos are invited to. Only one catch... we need to wear traditional clothes. For the señoritas, wool skirts, wool blouses and a veil. For the señors, a hat and poncho.
On another Island, called TaquilaOn another Island, called Taquila
On another Island, called Taquila

a Señorita shows us her weaving technique on her loom.
Terraces of agricultureTerraces of agriculture
Terraces of agriculture

on Isla Amantani. The island had a few communities that traded with each other. Each cummunity had a president. Each year they rotate their crops. The main things grown are corn, fava beans, potatoes, quinoa, peppers...and some fruit (frutas).
View from Pachatata (Father Earth)View from Pachatata (Father Earth)
View from Pachatata (Father Earth)

4100 metres above sea level.. Remember though, that the lake surface is 3820 metres up already..

7th February 2011
All dressed up for the dance on Amantani

Boy you are not only learning about Peru and the people, you are having fun, Have a good fun day MOM
8th February 2011
Lookin' good Disco Davey!

Really cute you guys, you sure look like you are having fun keep it up, have a good evening MOM
8th February 2011

Very nice blog
We were in this area in 2006 and your blog brought back some great memories.
8th February 2011

titi caca & big poo poo
Too funny!! , if you are bilingual........ :) Hey cuz, hey Dave, you guys look like you are having a wonderfull trip, way cool!, That South American look suits you both very the hck out of - 40 ! Can someone get me out of here......bbbrrrr......... Lots of warm wishes, safe journey, Hey Cuz.... I could use those winnings that you dreamed of right about now, I'd go down and meet you for a cup o tea too! God Speed
14th February 2011

Floating Islands
Hi Peruvian Travellers Hey, just like National Geographic :) Do you think that when you two get back to Sioux, we could try and make a floating island? That would be so cool. Mind you winter time could get a bit chilly in those reed huts...have fun, take care, xoxo PS
17th April 2011

Tour company???
Looks amazing! Headed to the islands myself and wondered if you could advise on a tour company for the overnight stays on the island. Thanks a million!
20th April 2011

On the Island
There are literally hundreds of tour operators in Puno, some good and some bad.. We used the 'Walk On Inn' to book us a guide and tour and they were excellent! It was about 75 Soles each ($30 or so) so it was very reasonably priced.. Many of the cheaper operators are still good too, but the price may not include ferries and/or food! If you have any more questions, feel free to give us a shout. D and T

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