Orus IslandsApril 21, 2016 in Peru
We have booked a half day trip to the Orus islands today, but that isnt till 4 this afternoon so we decide to have a little wonder round town. Its still pretty cold here so we wrap up warm and head out. The breakfast in the hostel was pretty grim so our first stop is a little coffee shop just around the corner. They have loads of cakes here, and i think this must be quite a traditional thing here as you often see people walking round with these huge cake boxes. We eat a bit of brekkie and take a leisurely stroll to the main plaza. The cathedral here is pretty big, and the intricate carvings on the front are beautiful. As we enter the place is full of glass fronted huge boxes with religious saints enclosed. Once again im shocked by the wealth contained inside here and the overty that sits at its door in the form of beggars. From here we walk along various streets filled with shops offering photocopying services of all things. There are literally hundreds of them although this city does seem to have a much more business type feel, with men in suits and rushing about with portfolios under their arms. In the square just down the street is what we think is a few market stalls, but upon closer inspection we find that its to do with labarotary exploration. There is a sheep with 5 legs and another with a double head i take a picture but am quite keen to get away. We explore the market and once again the smell is overwhelming stall after stall of raw meat just lay out in the open air. certainly not for the weak stomach. We head back to the hostel and i have a little siesta while we wait to be picked up for our tour. The guide arrives promptly bundling us into a taxi whilst jumping in the boot, we arrive at the ferry port and board our boat. I dont know why but we always seem to get on the slowest boat there is . We arrive at the first island greeted by two women chanting camakhalli which is hello in their native language .
The Orus islands are constructed soley of reeds and the President of the islands gives us a demonstration of how the floating islands are constructed with the layering of reeds. We have the opportunity to go inside the houses , which are filled with artisan wares and all her skirts hung up on the wall. She explains that the islands are totally dependant on the tourism trade and that she has 6 children, two of whom are married and two who go to the college in Puno, but the other two children sleep on the floor while they sleep in the double bed. The island has no electric, but has solar panels that supplys them with everything they need , although i dont think that can be much as all weve had is rain. Whe are offered a ride in the 'love boat' for an additional 10 soles , so we all board and enjoy our journey to the main floating island. This place is really set up for tourism, with a restaurant offering hot choclate and the opportunity to get your passport stamped. They explain that if anyone gets caught stealing on the island they are put in the water for 24 hours and it will be down to the gods whether its serious enough that they die. Thaer is an opportunity to stay for a night in the mini hotel they have here which is basically just a hut with a double bed in it, but seems quite romantic, but Mark is having none of it. As the sunsets the view is beautiful as the sun reflects on the water and we have a little Titanic moment as we sail back to Puno. On board is a young boy, who barely has a tooth in his head. We chat with him and he explains that he learns english in school , but quickly becomes annoying running up and down the upperdeck of the bus. We arrive back at Puno just after 6 and head to a local place for our dinner. The delicacy here is Guineu pig, but i opt for the safe option of soup and chicken before going to the local bakery to purchase my pudding of of a pear pastry which is delicious. Tummy full and a warm shower we cuddle up to watch a film.Read more