Thursday, 12 December 2013

Puno and Lago Titicaca.

Now to the next and final stop of my journey: Puno and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, at over 4000m above sea level! Unfortunately, I didn't actually spend that much time in Puno itself because I was out on the lake for most of my time there- though it did seem to be a pretty decent little town. What really captured me about Puno was the main method of transport- 'triciclos', essentially a bike with a two-seater cart attached to the front. I was surprised at the sheer number of these, considering Puno is actually quite hilly, and they only earn at most 2 soles (60c) per customer- a lot of work for not much, if you ask me!

Now to the lake itself- it's massive! I knew it was big, but it's honestly more like an ocean than a lake, being about 200km in length and more than 100km in width. Both days we were out on the lake we had stunning weather, clear blue skies and the sun was out, which helped a lot with the otherwise freezing cold around us! 

There are many islands on the lake, some which are inhabited and others which aren't- we visited two on the Peruvian side (Bolivia owns 40% of the lake too, by the way): Taquile and Amantani, as well as the floating reed islands of Los Uros. We all stayed the night on Amantani in little houses with the locals, who kindly took us in and shared a but of their culture with us, even allowing us to dress up in their traditional clothes to go to the peña! Los Uros I found interesting too; however a little too touristy for my liking. We did, however, get to go for a spin on one of the traditional reed boats! They also told us that they have to harvest more water reeds every week to reinforce the islands so they don't sink, as the reeds are constantly rotting away from the bottom up- which would account for a lot of work!

Next up - a day in the life on Lake Titicaca (I really want to go into more detail about the overnight stay we did on Amantani).

Photos by Henry Malaga, Ginger Pinkerton, Tami Piovesan, Ida Pedersen and me.

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