Hello everyone! Sorry its been so long since the last entry (parents that apology is really aimed at you) but we are both asfe and well and have been busy busy!
After La Paz we went to Copacabana on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca. As a town there is not a whole lot to see but the view of the lake is stunning. We climbed up a hill above the town which was a pilgrimage for many Bolivian people and the whole way was marked out with different crosses. The view was spectacular and many people go up there for sunset although we were a little early for that. We also took a boat trip over to Isla del Sol, the birthplace of the first Inca. We saw the sacred stone where the first Inca was born and Rhys and I both got blessed by a traditional priest there, although we weren´t sure if he was actually marrying us as half of it was in Quechua but the bit I understood of Spanish the words husband and wife were defiantely mentioned. Luckily he couldn´t say Rhys´name so I might be married to someone called ´Luis´! We walked the length of the island and it really is breathtaking as you forget that you are on a lake, and not the sea.
Copacabana is also famous for ´the blessing of the cars´which takes place daily. We went to go and see it as we didn´t really know what it was all about. Families decorate their cars and have a priest bless both themselves and the car by sprinkling holy water in the engine. They do this so that they can then drive like utter maniacs because they believe that because their car has been blessed God will prevent road traffic accidents. We were a little sceptical but it happens daily!
From Copacabana we crossed to the Peruvian side of the lake to a town called Puno. Here we took a boat to the floating islands. The islands are artificially made using reeds, and everything on the islands is also constructed fro the reeds. It´s very impressive. There are about 125 islands of varying sizes and the Uros people moved on to the Lake hundreds of years ago to try and escape the violence of th Incan empire. We visited one island and Rhys and I were dressed up in traditional clothing which looked utterly ridiculous! We were also sailed across to another island in one of the traditiional reed boats which you can see in the picture, and Rhys even had a go at rowing! We then had lunch on a natural island and had the famous Lake Titicaca trout and it was delicious.
Easter happened while we were staying in Puno and it was amazing to see the effort that people were going to during the celebrations (never seen anything like it in England anyway). On Good Friday there was an evening candlelit procession through the street of hundreds of people. And they had huge figures of Christ and the Cross which they carried on their shoulders, and on Easter Sunday families were everywhere in the streets and there was a really lovely atmosphere. No easter eggs though!
Hope all is well at home, Hannah and Rhys xxxx