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LIVING INSIDE A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE

LAKE TITICACA - UROS, ISLA AMANATI AND ISLA TAQUILLE

sunny 22 °C

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This has been a very special couple of days and has been the highlight of my trip so far. Isaac is struggling to say this is better than Machu Picchu but it is a close one even for him.

Today we visited the highest navigable lake in the world – Lake Titicaca. It is probably the second most well-known site in Peru especially for the Floating Islands of Uros. I remember seeing images of these islands many years ago on the cover of a magazine and dreamed of one day getting there. Well I did and they did not disappoint. The people of Uros build their own island out of reeds and the 100+ islands are floating on the lake, held down by an anchor in the very shallow water. It is hard to imagine that people still live like this although their lives have definitely changed with thousands of tourists who visit each week and the few modern amenities they now have. They have limited electric provided by solar power and modern boats. They build the reed boats mainly for the tourists and we sure enjoyed our ride.

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Secondly we visited the island of Amanati. This is perhaps one of the coolest things we have ever done. We decided to do a home stay with a local family and it has been simply amazing. Although there is no bathroom ( we had a chamber pot in a room for the night) and limited electricity, again powered by solar panels, I feel like I am in paradise. Our rooms were perfect. Simple with many many wool blankets. You could barely lift it to get under which was good because it was very cold. Some views of the island remind me of Tuscany while our courtyard and view are strikingly like Greece. Our house mama, Justus lives with her husband Aldofo and their daughter. They are lovely. We had an exceptional meal of fresh wild trout with quinoa and local potatoes outside in the glorious sunshine.

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I took a few minutes to play with their daughter and her friend. We had a little game of volleyball.

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There was an optional hike to the top of the island but we are all struggling with the altitude so we opted out. It was hard enough climbing up to our house. Saying that, while the others took a nap, I had to climb higher to see what I could find. I walked very slow.

Once I got to the main square there were many people coming home from work. I hinted for a ride in the wheelbarrow but that only fetched a laugh and a pant of breath. One of the ladies blew a bubble just for my picture, I think.

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I laughed when I started photograph these sheep who came towards me because I didn’t know who would move first. Then these two ladies came along a shoed them away.

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This evening after another delicious meal, vegetables and rice, we got dressed up like locals and went to listen to local musicians. We didn’t stay long because I was feeling like crap. Light headed and tired although another side effect of altitude is insomnia and I didn’t sleep great.

The sunset shows the Bolivian mountains.

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Our party

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This morning after another high carb meal, pancakes and bread, we made our way to the third island,Taquille island. Here we were to do another steep uphill hike to visit a textile factory but we all opted out, feeling like we really need a quiet day to acclimatize. Instead we went to the pickup point and walk a small hill to a restaurant where we saw a textile display and learned why these beautiful handicrafts have received a UNESCO title. What was most interesting is that the type of the hat they wear tells the marital status ( I am wearing the baby's cap above) and it is the men who knit and the woman who weave. A good knitter makes a good husband. One of the men form Taquille who got on our boat home, sat outside knitting the whole time.

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It was brutal watching them climb straight uphill with the heavy packages.

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A really terrific couple of days. Fascinating in fact. We are now back in Puno for our last night in Peru. I can hardly believe 10 days have passed but we are excited to venture into Bolivia in the morning.

Posted by curlygirl 15:15 Archived in Peru Tagged peru uros armanati taquille

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Comments

Wow Shelley, amazing pictures! Looks so beautiful there!

by Susan G

omg! My fav pics so far (except for the terrified tourists and llama)! Loving the updates

by Shirley

I am with Shirley! Beautiful pics! Looks amazing !

by Sherry

Shelley, these photos are breathtaking!!!! Omg. Stunning!!!

by Bonnie

Amazing!! Love the photos of the little children. All so colourful. I can tell you are in your glee!! What a trip !!

by Nancy

I can't wait for each day to see your blog. Love the pictures. So happy you're having a great time.. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

by Kathy

Absolutely amazing! Love reading your posts and enjoying the beautiful pics. Have a safe journey back!

by Ruth

Such beautiful colourful pictures! Stunning! Kids loved the picture of the sheep.

by Jennifer

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