Friday, September 10, 2010

15 August: Puno to Llachon

After breakfast this morning, we were taken down to the Port on bicycle tuk-tuks. Then we got onto a boat and headed off to explore Lake Titicaca. Our first stop was at the Uros Floating Islands which the Uros have been living on for 2000 years. It was quite incredible to see how they live and how they build their islands. But it was also a bit touristy, with a tourist boat like ours stopped at just about every little island.

I still absolutely loved it tho! So incredible. And I think my all-time favourite bit was their island within an island that they kept bunnies & guinea pigs on
(photo on right) - I assume as food and not as pets tho :( And apparently it takes about 100 years for the floating island to eventually reach the bottom of the lake (they add more grass and rebuild their huts regularly), and then they set off and build a brand new island. Apparently they need the islands to float because the water level of the lake rises 8 - 10m in the rainy season.

I bought my trip-memorabilia item there tho, an awesome wall-hanging of an Incan belief. I can't quite remember exactly what it was but I remember thinking that their beliefs weren't that different to what I know of Wicca, where the earth is God and all things come from the earth and are equal. I love it!

After that we had a 2hr boat ride, heading to our home-stay on the peninsula. When we arrived, we split up and had lunch with our new house-mammas (This one is called Bebida, which means drink in Spanish ... ?!?!). I was quite worried this time, especially after our awesome experience at the last home-stay, when she spoke so much Spanish. We couldn't understand a thing over lunch.

But then it turned out that I think we won the home-stay lottery again because after lunch we were supposed to help out with some of their day-to-day tasks and our mamma took us to "walk" the sheep. They were all tied up to shrubs and stuff just outside her house, so we untied them and then herded them down to the water for them to have a drink. At one point our mamma picked up her littlest lamb and haded it to me to hold. So adorable! They didn't get a very long drink before we took them back home again. And then we thought we were done.

So The Ageing Aunt and I said we wanted to go for a walk around the area (handy that we remembered we had a Spanish-English dictionary along with us now!) and our mamma said she would come with us. It turned out to be such an awesome afternoon! She took us to her cousin's (a few houses above hers on the hill), who was sitting outside weaving and then after leaving us there went home to get her spindle to make wool. It was amazing sitting there watching these 2 women. We chatted to them quite a lot using the dictionary. We spoke about how old we were, how many children they had and the animals. It was lovely. After probably an hour of that, she then took us down to where her parents were pulling the heads off wheat, which we helped them with for a while. And then she took us down to the pier to get on a fishing boat to go and help the men put out fishing nets. It was a truly incredible afternoon!

After we got back on the fishing boat, we played a few volley-ball games with the people from the village, on the grass next to the beach, them in their local dress with cows and pigs (beach-pigs!) watching on. Such a laugh.

We stopped as the sun was setting and @UselessRob and I then went off for a walk before dinner. We ended up going up the mountain (there were stairs), which gave us a very cool view of the village and out across the lake. We stayed there watching the lights of Puno come up, spotting shapes in the clouds and searching for shooting stars.

Then it was back to our individual houses for dinner. The Ageing Aunt and I went and sat in the kitchen and chatted with our mamma and the boat captain while she cooked, which was nice. Dinner was more soup (seriously, we eat soup at almost every meal except breakfast!!) and Saltado sin Carne, quite nice and not too much. We seem to constantly be being fed on this trip!

After dinner I wanted to go to the place @UselessRob was staying, because again, 20h30 is just too early for bed and he'd brought cards along. But my mamma wouldn't let me go until she'd dressed me up in the local costume. Apparently we were supposed to have gotten dressed up for dinner, but she'd forgotten and was sure if I went over there they'd all be dressed up. Sigh. So after dutifully getting dressed up (keep in mind this is all put on over what we were wearing) and having her walk me right to his door in the dark (nearly tripped over a cow!), he opened the door dressed completely normally. And nearly died of laughter. Naturally. It was pretty damn funny, honestly.

We didn't end up playing cards after all, instead we went and sat outside and watched the stars and chatted instead. It was amazing how clear the sky was (the clearest and best view we had of them our entire trip!).

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Tamara said...

Would love to see pics of you dressed up in local garb!

AngelConradie said...

Me too!!!

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