The first of these two days was an odd one – lots of travelling; we took a bus La Paz > Lake Titicaca, then a boat to Isla del sol. From there we hiked across the island for about an hour, checking out the view across the lake and pausing to take photos (also to catch our breath, you know cos of the altitude).
(Forgot to mention the Tucumanas de carne, pollo y huevo we had during a stop on the bus journey, this was a deep fried snack; potato with meat and egg – really yum).
The lake is one of South America’s largest and the world’s highest navigable body of water. It is said to be the birthplace of the Incas, it’s home to numerous ruins which we could see on our walk across. Also, very familiar was the terraces which we’ve learnt on this trip, is how the incas farmed in the mountains.
Gorgeous views across the lake and some fabulous photo opportunities for me and my camera (love a macro shot of some flowers me). Rach and I met two new British friends, Helen & Cari – Helen actually went to Lancaster at the same time as me, what a small world! She’s also blogging her travels here!
As we took the boat back to the mainland, we were chased by the wind and a huuuuge black cloud! Luckily we made it back in time to grab a snack and some Alpaca socks with our final few Bolivianos. We took a bus across the border from Bolivia to Peru and headed to Puno for the evening. Rach and I wanted to get something for dinner but as it was quite late we ended up in a chicken shop, not dissimilar to a cross between KFC & Nando’s (actually probably nicer than Nando’s too, sorry Kate). £2 for 1/8 of a chicken, chips and salad – barrrrgain.
For the buses we used Peru / Bolivia Hop – for $49 we’ve got three bus rides from La Paz > Copacabana > Puno > Cusco (this evening). We’ve also booked our accommodation (with discount) and today’s trip via the same company too making it all really easy to manage. They also pick up and drop off direct to your hostels.
Today we’ve had a lovely relaxed morning sorting out our stuff, showering (yay) and then chilling in a cafe to eat and wait for the rain to pass!
We did a little shopping (well Rach bought about a million Alpaca items), and wandered the streets of Puno. Really lovely and busy city, and then at the shore of the lake it was like being at a seaside town – pedalos, souvenirs and cafes it was fab.
Later on in the afternoon we took a tour to the Island of Uros, one of the Reed islands which has around 5km of island altogether. Across the lake there are 90 islands with 2000 habitants, but just two of these islands are in Bolivia. The lake is 165km long by 65km width – as I mentioned earlier it’s the highest navigatable piece of water in the world!
Titicaca – is actually pronounced “titi-haha”, Titi means “Puma” and “Haha” means stone. If you look at the map of the lake upside down it looks like a puma catching the rabbit!
The people of Uros escaped from the incas into the lake and started to build their villages – it takes around 18months to build one island as they pack the reeds to together for strength but have to continually add them as they rot lower down. The anchors in the water are key to stop the islands floating away and when they build the kitchen area they have to use a stone floor to make sure nothing catches fire!
I remember speaking to a colleague at the hotel when I was 16 about these islands so it’s literally been 10 years coming for me to see them, it’s amazing!!
Exploring Inca ruins
Trying to keep dry on the boat
Views from the Reed Island – Uros
The Reed Island