Peter and Caroline's Most Excellent Adventure!!!
Here we are in Puno. The town has only just got used to tourists but that's changing now so you get a warm welcome. There is plenty to do but it is only a small place compared with Cusco. We spent our time here eating in some really good restaurants just to get us ready for our real excursion, Lake Titticaca and the floating islands. It is the highest navigable lake in the world and pretty big at over 160 km long. We stayed with a really nice family on the second biggest island. They met us at the harbour, took us in and fed us. The language they spoke was the old Quitcho (sorry about the spelling again) not Spanish so it was kind of hard talking to them but with a lot of smilling and nodding we got on just fine. Before feeding us we went up the island to the communal football pitch for a few native vs. tourist friendlies to build up an appetite. Then after food we were taken to the community centre for a fiesta. Unfortunately they insisted we all go in traditional dress, nice! We all looked a little strange but it was good fun and we went to bed and slept like logs. In the morning after a great pancake breakfast we said goodbye to our surrogate family and headed out to see the floating islands. The people who live on these islands still speak the language that their pre inca ancestors used so again conversation involved lots of pointing and smiling but everyone was very nice and no serious insults slipped through by accident. We went on a reed boat around the floating islands and were told how they were made using the reed roots with more reeds piled ontop of them and anchored with rocks on ropes. If a family didn't like their neighbours they can just cut their section of the island loose and paddle it to another island and re-attach it, simple. The houses are made of reeds and have to be rebuilt every 18 months. Then we headed back to Puno to get ready to leave for our last stop in south america, La Paz...