10th July 2013 - enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel before catching a bicycle taxi to the port on the edge of lake titicaca. We caught the boat "royal Caribbean". After an hour of sailing we arrived at the Uros islands. These are the floating reed islands . We arrived at one of the small islands and jumped off the boat for a visit. The islands are small with maybe 5 to 10 families living on each. We learnt how the islands are made. When a number of new families have formed they go out and cut blocks of reed roots and then drive wooden stakes into them and use nylon rope to join them together. This forms a 2 meter layer and then another meter layer of reeds is layed in a cross pattern as the top layer. There is an extra layer of reeds where the houses are placed and then stoned are placed on the ground where the cooking stove is located. We walked around and looked inside a couple of the huts. They are very small only a couple meters square and families of five to eight live in this tiny buildings with there few possisiones hanging around the edges of the hut. They all cook and sew together in a communal area. The reeds that make up the base of the island have to added to every other week. We spent some time looking over the handicrafts that the women had made. We got to take a boat ride on one of the reed boats that the locals made. It was a very slow as just two men row with small oars. After 20 or so minutes we arrived to the main island and had a quick look around the market there, before back on the boat. We sailed for nearly 3 hours before arriving at Amantani island. We were meet there by the local families that will be our hosts for tonight. We are staying with Mary- loose and her family. We walked with her for about 20 minutes along a small dirt track and then reached her house. It is a very basic rural cottage with a small courtyard and a couple rooms around that. There is a kitchen and dining area and next to that is the bathroom. There is no running water or electricity! it feels a lot like we have arrows back in time. There are no cars people just walk around or use a horse.
We were shown up to our room for the night. It is in the second story with a small blue door. Once inside the room it has two single bed that have reed bases...
They called us down and we enjoyed some quinoa soup and the a plate with boiled potatoes and fried cheese. The cheese was delicious and was similar to holumni . After lunch we had a rest before heading out at 3pm to watch and play in a soccer game between the locals v the tourists. It is was really hard due to the altitude over 3500m made breathing difficult. We then set off and starting making our way to the top of the hill on the mountain. It was hard going up to the top due to the high altitude. Once at the top we walked around 3 times anti clockwise and then enjoyed the sun set. We then walked back to the main square. It was a lot easier to walk down. We waited there for our host family to meet us. It was really dark on the island with no electricity there are no street lights. Lucky I had my head light. We then enjoyed dinner of a soup and spaghetti and had chance to talk with our host family. It was interesting as they have no English and we don't really speak any Spanish or Qwechaun. But we did learn there were six kids in the family and the 3 sons live in Lima working there and the father got sick so moved back to the island and works as a farmer. We then dressed is local traditional clothing. Mum and I got to put in bright skirts and the white shirts embroider with bright flowers and patterns. A woven belt was then tightened around your waist and a black shawl was also added. It was really warm which is what we needed as the temp is really dropping now that the sun has gone down. We walked back towards the town centre to a small local hall. A local band played sine traditional music and then we enjoyed some traditional dancing with the locals for an hour and a bit before making our way back to the house. It was an interesting sleep with no lights just a single candle lighting the room.