well the first few days of our tour from la paz to lima have been brilliant! our guide Manny is really organised and as soon as we've finished doing something we're instantly onto the next place!
after meeting in la paz we got a bus to copacabana on the edge of lake titicaca in bolivia. we had fresh lake trout for lunch with chips, rice and veg for £1.80! after a quick look round and spending the rest of our bolivianos we got back on the bus headed for Puno in peru!
we checkef into a nice hotel (one of many benefits when paying for a tour!) and had some chillout time before going to dinner and a local folk dancing and singing show! the music was great and some of the costumes were brilliant! i ate an alpaca stir fry (lama meat) which was fantastic!
yesterday we got up very early as we were getting a boat to explore lake titicaca. our first stop after hearing about the history of the lake was the island of tacquile in the very middle. the views were stunning and after quite a steep walk we reached the top of the island where i decided to have fresh trout again! fortunately it didn't fail to deliver and was even better than the day before! our second stop was amantani island where we would be doing a homestay with a local peruvian family. after putting my stuff down a football match had been arranged against the locals who we were told had rarely lost to the so called 'gringos' (foreigners!). however, we had quite a good 6 a side tean with people that played reguarly back home. despite the altitude we won two out of two winning 4-2 and 6-4! the peruvians weren't happy at being beaten at altitude by a bunch of backpackers!
for dinner we all ate with our local families. i spent a long time talkibg in spanish with them and feeling very humbled at their basic set up for a home. the main corridor in their house was a dry mud path, they owned a small shop that joint on to the left anf their bedroom was on the right. further down in the open was a concrete space of around 2m by 2m which led to the kitchen. inside the kitchen wad made of mud walls and a thin corrugated iron roof. they cooked on a built in fire stove and had very few utensils. we gave them a gift of apples, rice, milk and cooking oik which they loved. furthermore, having seen my very fortunate upbringing in comparison i bought them all a drink for dinner which left them very touched. their daughter giggled the whole time afterwards and saved a lot of her drnk fot later as it was a real treat.
dinner consisted of a veg soup, followed by rice with potatoes and veg! we also had an 'explosive' tea which is hot water with fresh peppermint and somr coca leaves!
our room wad actually very nice and was up some plain concrete stairs. it was basic but clean and homely. later that evening we got dressed in local clothes for the party! i wore a poncho and a pointy hat which was very hot! we then went to the local town hall for traditional music and dancing!
today we had brekafast in the house before saying goodbye. the family were fantastic and the mum was almost sad to see us go! once on the boat we heded back to puno via the floating islands off the shore. the islands are mud slabs secured to the lake bed with big sticks covered in layers and layers if reeds! it was really surreal especially when we got off on one island and you could feel it move. in fact whenever they wanted to move on they would lift the sticks and use them to row to a different location!!!
the boats in the picture are what they used for transport!
just relaxing in the hotel now before dinner and leaving for cusco tomorrow where on sunday we get a flight to the jungle for a two night stay!!!
hope everyone is good!
love barney xxx