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  • Day14

    Lake Titicaca

    July 7, 2016 in Peru ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Early start today to explore the 2nd largest lake in South America but the highest navigable lake in the world. Titicaca means 'puma stone' in the native pre-incan language of Aymara. The puma is a sacred animal for the Incan people. Ironically, once arial photos of the lake could be taken, they found that the shape of the lake had the shape of a puma.
    We traveled by motor boat with an enclosed area. Good thing because it was cold today (30-40 degrees)! I used the scarf and gloves I overpaid for in Cusco (still only $25).
    We started our exploration on the floating, man-made islands of Uros. There are over 100 small islands with, typically, 4-5 families per island. They use small reed canoes/boats to navigate to other islands and most are very close to one another. They build their islands with the roots of reeds and then add layer upon layer of reeds, so each island feels very spongy to walk on. They make their homes and beds out of these reeds along with some wood. The women stand in bright clothing along the small shore of their island indicating that they welcome visitors. We stopped on an island and 2 women showed us their home. We saw the fish they collect and reeds they use, not just for building but also to eat the stems for calcium and iodine. Their livelihood relies on selling tapestries and other crafts. We couldn't help but buy a small tapestry despite not really needing it. We also bought a couple of craft items for the boys. All for around $40. They sang goodbye to us in their native language and then in English, a bit mangled version of 'Row Row Row Your Boat'!
    We spent 10 soles per person (~$3) to be taken across the small channel in a large reed canoe to the small tourist island. They actually have huts that they describe as hotel rooms.
    Our guide, Maria picked us up in the motor boat, and we traveled an hour and 20 minutes to a much larger, natural island called Taquile. There are about 2000 inhabitants on the island. We stayed at the shore to meet a few of the local people and to learn about their customs. In particular, the women weave and the men knit. Their woven clothing/hats/belts indicate their marital status. For single men, the direction of the pom on top of their hat indicates whether he has a girlfriend, is interested in one or isn't interested at all.
    While we sat there, a couple of women wove and 4 men performed a song for us with flutes and a drum.
    We traveled another hour and 20 minutes to the island where we will be staying for the next couple of days. It is called Suasi. There is only 1 hotel on the small island. As it turns out, we are the only guests, in this 24 room hotel, for our whole stay! It's our very own island with our very own staff! Makes us feel very special. This is another eco-friendly lodge so no WiFi, limited electricity (all by solar panels) and no outlets in the rooms. (Julie, you must be wondering how we can survive!)
    Still, the room is perfectly nice with a small fireplace and a window on the ceiling to view the stars on a clear night.
    Meals are included here and lunch was very good - trout, chicken, alpaca, veggies, potatoes and chocolate mousse for dessert - our favorite!
    If it was nice out we could have hiked, looked for animals, kayaked or canoed etc, but it was cold and rainy ☔ (The Incan sun God is clearly angry that Dave left - and maybe the luxury train god too!) so we sat in front of a nice fire in their bar area and played cards for way too many hours with the wonderful sound of the rain around us - that, Julie, you would have loved!
    We ate a very good dinner with, of course, chocolate mousse for dessert! Mmmm...
    Realized today that I'm nearly maxed out on my outgoing text allowance, so I will only respond by text if necessary. 😊
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  • Day15

    Suasi Island

    July 8, 2016 in Peru ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    What a lovely place to, almost, end our days in Peru! After breakfast, we hiked around the island for about an hour. It was sunny and windy today. We came across vicunas (one of the 4 camelids whose fur is highly prized here) and roaming alpacas. At the peak of the island were beautiful views. Too windy for a canoe ride today. Despite the water all around it is remarkably dry here due to the elevation.
    We came back to the hotel and played cards by the fire until lunch. We took a short walk and then I took a nap. Wow, did I sleep hard! Blaming it on the altitude! I made myself wake up for the best hot chocolate we've ever had.
    Played cards again until dinner and then packed our stuff to be ready to go home tomorrow night! 😊
    Overall the service was good but not excellent (as it could have been given that we were the only guests!)
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  • Day10

    El otro fin de la isla - Itapilluni

    September 24, 2018 in Peru

    Zum Abend wird hier der Holzofen eingeheizt, und der Room Service legt eine Wärmflasche ins Bett.
    Unser freier Tag beginnt mit einem gemütlichen Frühstück um halb acht, für unsere Verhältnisse richtig spät. Nach dem Frühstück machen wir uns auf zum Gipfelsturm auf das andere Ende der Insel. Vorbei an Alpakas und Vikunjas erklimmen wir den Hausberg der Insel, den Itapilluni mit 4023 m unser erster (und vermutlich auch einzigster) 4000er... 😎🤔Read more

  • Day9

    El fin de la isla

    September 23, 2018 in Peru

    Nach dem Mittagessen - es gab unter anderem Alpaka 😱 - raffen wir uns dann aber doch noch zu einem kleinen Spaziergang zum einen Ende der Insel auf (das andere Ende machen wir morgen, man muss es ja nicht übertreiben auf fast 4000 Meter 😉). Die kleine Insel ist quasi ein Paradies an Flora und Fauna...
    Das kleine graue Nagetier ist ein Viscacha, eine einheimische Chinchilla-Art.
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  • Day9

    Isla Suasi

    September 23, 2018 in Peru

    Gegen Mittag erreichen wir das Paradies 😍. Die Isla Suasi ist unser Quartier für die nächsten 2 Tage. Hier gibt es nix, außer unserem Hotel, das wir uns heute Nacht mit den anderen 2 deutschen Pärchen teilen - unsere Privatinsel sozusagen.Read more

  • Day11

    Adios Isla Suasi

    September 25, 2018 in Peru

    Nach 48 entspannten Stunden auf der Isla Suasi ist schon wieder die Zeit des Abschieds gekommen. Ein malerischer Sonnenauf- oder Untergang über dem Titicacasee war uns nicht vergönnt, dafür aber ein Vollmond über dem See. Dem Ritter geht's heute gar nicht gut, und er muss heute auch mal auf das Sauerstoffangebot zurückkommen. Wir freuen uns schon drauf, dass es ab morgen langsam wieder runter geht.
    Zur Mittagszeit kommt unser Boot, um uns zurück zu bringen nach Puno. Die heimische Alpakaherde verabschiedet uns am Strand...
    Das kleine Braune ist übrigens eine Mischung aus Vikunja und Alpaka, und noch ein Baby.
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