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Published: September 4th 2011
Your correspondent is typing from a new city about a previously visited town purely by memory. This is very confusing as he is collecting his thoughts about a future blog concerning the new city while having to use a memory befuddled by illness about a previous town while drinking beer that Wendy has challenged the taste of , while she sits in a hammock drinking coca tea . Confused ? – you will be after this week’s episode of Blog !!!! There is a bonus point for those of my dear readers who recognise that previous phrase from an 80’s television show.
We left our future home of Bolivia and boarded a bus towards Peru. More stamps in passport as we crossed another border control on our way towards the town called Puno.
Having arrived under the cover of darkness - it was night time – we checked into our hostal. Our massive rucksacks were carried upstairs by the elderly check in lady without a second thought. At times your correspondent has attempted to carry the afore mentioned rucksacks quickly and has suffered a hernia, two broken ribs and a blackout for his troubles, but she - at the
age of at least 70 – merely bounded up the stairs without a care. “ha – she will suffer when she is older” I mused. Anyway, we went out for a pizza and the night passed without any further to do.
The next morning, however, was full of drama and concern – Wendy was ill!!!! To put not too fine a point on it, the contents of her stomach were not content with staying within the confines of her body and wanted out as quickly as possible. This was terrible – Wendy is the one who is never ill, while I am!!! My first thoughts, of course, turned to beer, but she said she didn’t want any – although I was thinking more for me. She was really quite ill, but in Wendy style didn’t want ant fuss, and insisted that the best thing was for her to stay in the room – near the toilet – and that I should go out and leave her alone. Oh dear.
Telling your correspondent to spend time by himself is not usually the best thing to do. This in the past has led to him drinking, getting involved in heated
political debate with locals and the gradual destabilistaion of western civilisatio !!! This time however, he behaved himself.
I walked and walked and explored this new town. With the camera, I was determined to take many photographs to show W what she was missing. I walked along the shore of Lake Titicaca - which is my favourite lake called Titicaca – taking in everything to report back to my ailing wife.
After sitting in the sin, having lunch and taking photographs, I decided it was time to go back and check on my patient. I got back to the hostal, got the key and ran up the stairs, burst in to the room and woke W up. Immediately, I woke W up, got hold of our computer and told her to download the photos I had taken so I could tell her all about my lovely day around town – then I asked her how she was feeling – what a guy !!!
Sadly, W was quite ill for the first few days in Puno. We did manage to get out for a day and saw another great South American parade and planned to go the next
day to the floating islands on the lake, when guess what happened ? I became ill and W had to go herself !!!
Here is her account.
So, off I set, relieved to finally get out and about but obviously upset that G couldn’t join me!
We boarded the boat at 7.15am and had a pan piper busking on the boat while people boarded! Far too early in the day for pan pipes (actually, not sure there is a good time of day for them really….)
First stop was the floating Islands of Uros (about 40 mins from Puno). These islands are made (and re-made regularly) from reeds. There are hundreds of these Islands and they are home to about 2,000 people. The tour boats take it in turn to land at different ones.
Whilst amazing, I found it all VERY touristy! We were greeted by brightly clad ladies who helped us off the boat and welcomed us to their island. We then had an interesting talk from a local resident about how the islands are created and maintained (reeds are laid on the surface every two weeks). We were then told we could wander
round and look at the houses, but before we even got a chance, we were surrounded by locals wanting to show off their homes.
My hand was taken by an old lady traditionally dressed who took me to her “house” (one reed room) and told me that she lived there with her husband and that she had 5 children. She insisted I took a photo, then took me to her stall……each family had a stall of things they have made. Whilst they were lovely, I tried to explain that I had 8 months travelling still to do and no room in my rucksack! However, I defy anyone not to buy something and of course I did!
We were then offered the opportunity (which it was clear we were expected to take up!) to go on a reed boat. We rowed to another island where there were more artisan stalls and a café! (it was still only 9am by then!).
Finally we were picked up by our boat and set off for the 2 hour boat journey to Taquile which is a beautiful, hilly island which was used as a prison the Spanish Colony and only became property
of the Taquile people in 1970 (please note that it was with great effort that I tried to remember these facts as I knew G would want to know and its usually he who remembers this historical stuff!!).
We docked and had a 15 minute walk UPHILL to the main plaza where we were greeted by lots of local people (either selling stuff or offering to have their photo taken with you – for payment)……again, all very touristy and felt a bit “set up”.
We had some time to wander round the stalls and then met up with our guide again to set off for lunch. Again there is a rota for where you eat and I have to say that we were lucky that day……
We walked for about another 10 minutes from the square and ended up at this idyllic location overlooking Lake Titicaca (someone’s home) where we were served quinoa soup (which I’m actually starting to like!) and the most amazing trout. All with a view you would pay £100’s for! (and all for £3!). I was sorry G wasn’t there to enjoy it with me.
After lunch the guide gave us some
more historical facts but I’m afraid by then I was all informationed out, so feel free to Google Taquile if you want more information!
As per the day before, when I got back, I insisted G look at all my photos there and then! (payback!!)
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