Once again I left my “home” of 4m altitude and I am now in Puno at 3,830m. I love it here, the beauty and charm of this city, is a mixture of their typical constructions of Andean architecture in the sides of the hills until the bank of the Titicaca Lake, and the people, humble, poor and kind.
I arrived at my hostel which I had booked in advance but thanks to my late flight no answer and it was raining. Cold and wet from the pouring rain I walk to a couple guest houses checking if one would have a room available. After a few knocks and head shakes I found a small very cosy guest house owned by Jose Javier, he welcomes me and says “pobrecita hija, quieres té?” – poor little child, you want tea ? It was a nice welcome.
This was my time away from all my new friends some time to reflect on all the great experiences I had experienced in the last couple months. Despite of the rain pouring all day and the low temperatures of 7-10 °C during the day and 2 – 4 °C in the night, I bundled myself in my new alpaca hoodie, scarf, beanie and leg warmers and hit the streets with my bright orange rain poncho. The streets are vibrant and the plaza de armas was not any duller with all the rain.
It was a weird vibe for me just 2 days ago I was seating on the beach having a Cusqueña as we watched sunset and now am walking the streets with everyone dressed in grey, boots, trench coats and rain coats is the style. One afternoon the rain let up and the sun peeked just enough for me to jump into a tourist van and head to Sillustani.
Sillustani is a burial site is an amazing complex made up by huge cilindrical tombs where the Pukara Culture used to bury their elite. It is said the Incas conquered them in the XV century and continued building theses graves improving the technique.
While there, you get to experience wonderful panoramic views of Lake Umayo. The rain however did not let us enjoy a visit to a local farmer home to experience their daily chores first hand and so we headed back to the city.
There is really not much to do in Puno city itself so I decided to progress to Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is a beautiful and much-venerated sacred lake that lies on the border between Peru and Bolivia. It is one of the highest navigable Lakes in the world at an altitude of 3,800mts and like Crater Lake in the USA, it is renowned for its deep blue beauty.
The morning started off at 6 °C with low cloud cover, so bundled up in my alpaca gear I went to board my boat that I would navigate this amazing Lake. The lake has a couple Islands with 41 of them having a sacred significance. I had read mixed reviews on the Uro Islands but I opted to find out for myself. I got to say they did not leave up to my expectations but hey standing on a traditional reed island is pretty cool by its own means. The Islands are made from totora reeds that are found in the Lake, a few Islands have been set up for tourism purposes where they show eager travelers and tourists how they live and sell souvenirs.
However the vast majority of the Uros people live in continual isolation and peace, away from curious onlookers and camera lenses. Several hundred Titicaca natives continue to live year-round on the islands, even if they venture to Puno for commercial transactions.
The ladies seem to rule in the island I visited, this lady dressed in layered clothing and 2 braids to the front welcomes us, and goes all in to explain how the reed islands are built, how they cook and even how you have to take a boat to go make pipi – kaka. That’s a tough one bad stomach day would mean living on the boat just in case it’s time for some more poop lol.
Intrigued by the hair pompoms I ask her why has were different from the older ladies.. she shyly says she is single and its away to let the chicos know she’s available. From my time there this was one thing I felt we should borrow, how handy that guy looks hot oops check his hat he is taken. This would make dating and hitting o the other sex so MUCH easier.
I couldn’t resist taking a ride on the gondola which once again was driven by a lady. Love the girl power here. She took us on a ride and was so pleasant asking our all intrusive and interesting questions.
After this am off to really enjoy the Lake and will be back with more about an Island on this beautiful Lake.