Before coming to Peru, I was most excited about Lake Titicaca, and it hasn´t disappointed. I wake up about an hour outside Puno. It´s sunrise over the Peruvian altiplano, a vast barren land broken only by the snow-capped Andes. Breath-taking. Puno itself is really not nice though and I did not want to linger, so half-asleep stumbled to the dock to catch a boat to one of the lakes many islands. immediately i´m surrounded by people trying to sell every imaginable tour. Scrapping all of these I do my part for the community and take a local boat which was going to Isla Taquile via the rather unique Uros Islands. Made completely of reeds they just float on the surface of the water. They are heavily exploited by tourism but a definite worthwhile experience. The boat to Isla Taquile was excruciatingly slow taking 3 hours for a mere 45km but was incredibly picturesque. The lake, a vivid blue at this altitude, is more like a sea stretching far over the horizon. On reaching Taquile, me and a freind, Greg, were allocated to a family where we would spend the night. The accommodation was incredibly basic consisting of mud walls and corrugated roofs but had a stunning view over the island. It´s a tropical paradise completely isolated. For lunch I ate freshly caught trout from the lake before heading back to the house where our host, Sebastian, told incredible stories of his travels through Europe with an Andean folkore band. It even involved a msuic session with me on the Mandelin and Greg on Guitar.
A big reason for me staying on the islands was for the night sky. At this altitude and at such an isolated area there is no light pollution and a blanket of stars like i´ve never seen surrounded me. I could have been there all night was it not for the sub-zero temperatures. It wasn´t long before I was back on the clifftop watching the sunrise over the Bolivian Cordillera Blanco.
The island has been a real eye-opener to how little people can live comfortably on. They are so detached from the mainland with no conveniences, living off the land which from what I saw was more like sand. The people have their own language and some will never leave the island in their lifetime. This country continues to surprise and amaze.