Hi all, so another week and yet another country! We finished off our time in Peru with a two day trip to the Uros floating Islands and then a homestay with a Peruvian family on a small Island off the coast of Puno on Lake Titicaca. The floating islands were like nothing either of us has ever seen before. Its literally a bunch of islands 15 minutes from puno that are completely made out of reeds and anchored to the shallow waters with rocks and rope! Each island has between 5 and 15 families living on them. When we stepped off our tour boat the reeds literally moved beneath our feet. Even their homes and fishing boats are made completely of these reeds. It was a really fascinating couple of hours despite how obviously touristy it was. After this we headed 3 hours out to a tiny island called Amantani where we were greeted by our new mum for the night, Rebecca. We excitedly followed her to our new home where she cooked us a beautiful lunch of tomato salad and potatoes with fried egg. it was absolutely yummy! After meeting the rest of the family we then headed to the main square where we had planned to meet the rest of our tour group for a walk to the very top of the island. The whole journey to the square consisted of Rebecca's daughter continuously shouting ''faye and michelle'' over and over again at the top of her lungs. We arrived at the square to complete chaos, having managed to coincide our homestay with the most celebrated day in Amantani! Everyone was dressed up in Peruvian attire and people were singing, dancing, crying, hugging, drinking beer and spraying beer all over the square. It was mental and feeling a little overwhelmed by all the drunkeness and crying we headed off on our walk. Over an hour later and gasping for dear breath (Machu Picchu has done nothing to enhance our fitness levels!) we reached the top and Oh My God what views. We could see Lake titicaca for 360 degrees and in the distance were amazing views of snow capped mountains on one side and Bolivia on the other. Later that evening we were treated to another lovely meal by mum Rebecca consisting of soup, rice and an omelette type thing. We chilled in the kitchen with Rebecca and her 5 year old daughter Nupee (the boys were all still celebrating in the square) where we gave her gifts of rice, sugar and cake as a thank you for having us stay. Later that night we decided against going back to the madness of the square and instead went to bed in this tiny little Peruvian house with no electricity and the background noise of the lake. Both of us agreed that it was one of the best nights sleep either of us had ever had! Unfortunately the next morning it absolutley pissed it down and we were forced to endure ther most God awful boat ride to a the neighboring island of Taquile. For over an hour the boat rocked and swayed in every which direction and by the end more than half the tour group were at the back of the boat with the heads overboard. As you can imagine Faye had a face of thunder ( and a seasick green face I might add!) for the entire journey. Such Joy. We made it alive nonetheless and had a nice lunch on the island before heading back to Puno for our last night in Peru. As we had an early bus to catch the following morning we decided on a quiet night and even stayed in the same s***hole hostel we'd stayed in the previous nights so as to save money.
Friday (5th feb) we took a 3 and half hour bus to Copacabana, a lakeside town 20 minutes over the border over Bolivia. Seeing as we'd endured the s***hole hostel in Puno we decided to treat ourselves in Bolivia and headed for one of the most expensive hostels in town (which at 17 quid was a bargain!) La Cupula hostel is a beautiful grema owned place high up on the hills and overlooking the whole of Copacabana and lake Titicaca. The restaurant was one of the top recomended ones for the area and on one of the nights we feasted no Filet Mignon with all the trimmings for a whopping 4.70 each!! We had decided on eating at the restaurant after a disastrous first night cooking pasta for ourselves. It seems pasta in Peru is made with 99% starch and after an hour and half of us (Faye) slaving over the stove we ended up with a huge pot of sludge. It actually squelched when you put a fork to it. We were forced to wash the whole mess down with several bottles of wine and countless beers.
So pretty much, our 3 days in Copacabana consisted of getting drunk, playing cards and eating gourmet food for the price of a maccy D! We ventured into town on one of the days and even managed a short walk around the lakefront but top of our agenda was defo relaxation which we managed perfectly for our stay.
Yesterday afternoon we left the luxury of our hostel and headed to La Paz, where we are now. Arriving into the city was another spectacular site. The bus enters La Paz via the top of the valley and below we could see thousands and thousands of rooftops and skyscrapers with yet more snow capped mountains in the back ground. Once inside the city we got an idea of how hectic La Paz is. Every road is jam packed with cars (mainly taxis) and the streets are lined with stalls and people selling everything from pantyhose to clown outfits. We checked into a really lovely hostel on one of the main streets and proceeded to celebrate our arrival in a new city by getting s*** faced on bottles and bottles of wine from the hostel shop (at 2 pounds a bottle how could we refuse!) Much of today was spent nursing our hangovers, eating and watching dvds in our room. The plan for tomorrow is shopping , shopping and a little more shopping but first there is another bottle of wine with our name on it, so chow for now! XX