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Published: October 26th 2006
So i spent the last week or so around Lake Titicaca. Copacabana, on the Bolivia side was a really nice place where I got to splash out in some luxury. Altho recommended, i found the Isla del Sol tour to be quite a waste of money. But i also took a 2 day island tour on the Peru side, from Puno, which i loved. We saw the reed islands, which is like nothing else i´ve ever seen - people living on these islands made of reeds. Then onto Isla Amanti, where we stayed with a family. The house was built of mud clay, wooden or concrete floors, a kitchen table made of a slab of rock. It was like something out of the year 1500 how these people lived. No electricity or running water, the older lady of the family cooked perched on a wooden stump over a make-shift clay oven and a bowl of water to wash dishes. I was so expecting to be sick, but thankfully, survived it intact. It was cold! At night, they dressed us up in their local clothes and took us out to the local hall where we danced. The outfits look so funny on
Uros Floating Islands
tour of lake titicaca from the Peru side
the ladies, but we all felt all gussied up and pretty in them. I realized why they wear them too. They´re WARM!!! 2 layers of thick wool skirts, a polyester shirt and a wool shawl. Great fun! But i did see the saddest thing yet on the islands around puno. The locals had tied the sheep´s legs together, one front and one back, so they could hardly walk, in an apparent attempt to keep them close by. Heart wrenching for me. What the hell is wrong with people?
All in all, i was thrilled to finally move onto Bolivia, where it is cheap and people hassle you a bit less. I have been the victim of lying tour companies now, 3 times in a week. Twice by bus companies- one promising a specific bus company with a bathroom, and delivering a completely different bus sans bathroom for a wretched 8 hour ride, once by another bus company on the way to la paz, who swore we were getting dropped off one block from my hostal, when in reality, it was a 10 block walk, 2 hours late, and finally by the tour company in puno who showed me pictures
of an upgraded boat, and then put me on one of much lesser quality. It seems like there are no honest people south of Ecuador! And these are extremely religious! It blows my mind. It´s like they have no conscience at all. They take your money and blatantly lie to your face. How do they sleep at night?
At any rate, for once, traveling solo paid off. I was on the bus to la paz, and started chatting with the English guy next to me, who turned out to be really sweet. So we´ve been hanging out in la paz for the past 24 hours. it´s soooooo great to have some company!
Right now I am awaiting a flight to Rurrenebaque where i will take a pampas tour. I am anxious to be in the warm jungle again. In true Bolivian fashion, my flight has already been delayed most of the day. Cross your fingers for me! When i get back, it will be onto my next volunteer place to revisit monkeys!
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