Lake Titicaca

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November 19th 2015
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Libertador HotelLibertador HotelLibertador Hotel

Our hotel is built on a peninsula with great views of the lake from front and back. Lake Titicaca is on the border of Peru and Bolivia. It's average depth is over 100m and its surface area is over 8,000 sq km. There are over 20 lakes at a higher altitude, but Titicaca's claim is to be the highest commercially navigable lake. A 2,200t ship owned by PeruRail is currently used for tourism.
Geo: -15.8279, -69.9929

Sadly Robyn was still feeling poorly this morning, and when she discovered she'd left her small jewellery bag behind (on the train?) she decided to forgo the Lake tour and spend some quiet time and see if she could track down her bag through contacting our tour coordinator.

So I left at 7am to catch a 44 pax "speedboat" to cruise the lake and visit the floating Uros Islands and Taquile Island. The tour commentary was in Spanish and in English, not my preference, but it was comprehensive.

No luck finding the jewellery, bummer. Breaking news, not lost, just misplaced!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 5, Displayed: 5


Uros IslandsUros Islands
Uros Islands

There are 40 or 50 floating islands, some only accommodating two or three families, others larger. Each island has a President and a Mayor. I'm not too sure of their authenticity as I think there's been some corruption by the tourist dollar. I heard some islander women singing Frere Jacques and Row your Boat. Qeh?
Island buildingIsland building
Island building

It takes a year to build an island. First a visit to the reed nursery (10km away) to saw out reed root blocks 10m long, 5 wide and 1 to 1.5m thick. These blocks are trimmed and lashed together so the roots will grow into each other and become stronger. Then cut reeds are placed 4m deep on top of the roots, in alternating layers. Houses are built on platforms another 1m high. Every few weeks another layer of cut reeds is added. The islands are anchored to the lake bed with several wooden stakes and ropes. The life of an island is 30 years.
Taquile IslandTaquile Island
Taquile Island

There are several islands in the lake. This is the third largest and it houses over 2,000 people. They have their own language and culture. Strict dress rules for single and married folk that were adhered to by all, not just those in contact with tourists. They marry for life and the men wear cummerbunds in which their wife's hair has been woven.
Lunch on TaquileLunch on Taquile
Lunch on Taquile

A lovely outlook, although I didn't need another 100m climb - gentler, no stairs, but now 12,800ft up. We had vegetable soup and an omelette or fish - rainbow trout introduced in the 50s. Basic but tasty.

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