|Posted by Gary & Lynette Landy on November 16, 2012 at 9:50 AM|
Today we received a 6am wake-up call as we had a 10 hour train trip to the town of Puno where we are spending the night on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
The train ride was quite amazing as we got to view how hard it is for the farmers at approximately 4000 metres above sea level.....it is extremely dry, at the moment, but when the wet season begins in the next couple of weeks the farmers move up into the mountains.
Here in Peru most housing is very basic, especially out in the countryside.....mud brick, only 1 window as glass is too expensive & very, very small.....about 5 sqm! Very few homes are painted as even if they could afford the paint (also extremely expensive) the mud bricks would need to "render" it first...another cost!
The following morning we began our day with a 2 hour walk around the town of Puno. What a lovely little town, but similar to other small towns we visited throughout Peru. After exploring the town we had the opportunity to hire a "tutut" to get back to our hotel. It ended up that the 12 "tutut's" that we hired raced us back.....a very amusing time to say the least!
After arriving back at the hotel we boarded a boat for a short ride out to the floating island of Uros. These floating islands came about as a result of the locals hiding from the Inca'a back in the 15 century & the Spanish after that. The "islands" actually float on Lake Titicaca! The way in which they float is on the reeds that are prolific in the lake. As I mentioned, we visited the island of Uros & saw how they lived......basic is an understatement. The size of the houses are about the same size as our "horse boxes", & the home will sleep a couple plus 2 or 3 children! It would be very interesting to see how Westerner's coped with this type & size of living.
One of the more unpleasant issues with the floating islands on Lake Titicaca are that all waste material (human & any animal) are deposited directly into the lake. Not only is all washing done I. The lake but it is also the only source of drinking water! They say it takes between 5 & 6 generations to build up a tolerance to the bacteria in the water. We were advised that if we drank from Lake Titicaca we would be returning home in a coffin.
Needless to say, that even though the people we met were delightful we all scrubbed well before having lunch back at our hotel!
Categories: 2012 - South America