We stayed on both sides of Lake Titicaca which spreads across the Peru/Bolivia border, considered in Andean mythology to be the birth place of the first Incas and centre of the universe, the lake is both beautiful and rich in culture. The Bolivian side (Copacabana) is smaller with lots of small restaurants and bars and a hippy traveller feeling where we tried the local specialtiy, rainbow trout from the lake, and the boys ordered Guinea Pig! I tried it and we all agree it is not so bad, very soft and tastes almost fishy, though theres not much meat to it and I felt bad eating it as it still looked cute, even on the plate!
The main attraction from Copacabana though is about 2 hours on the boat to the Island of the Sun. When we got there it was raining very hard and we were taken to a museum with one room which documented finds from the underwater site near the island. At the north end of the island is the ancient altar and the sacred stone which is supposed to look like a pumas face (we failed to see this resemblance though we consider ourselves to be quite arty and open-minded) It's also supposed to energise you if you lay your palms flat on it and with the 3 hour trek ahead of us back to the south end of the island we tried to utilize this but were still puffing on the way back (wish us good luck for machu pichu hehe). The trek across the top of the island to the south end was beautiful though and noted as 'Very Nanny Carol and Grandpa Melvyn'.
Then we bused to Peru and Puno, also on the Lake Titicaca. It was bigger and sunnier than Copacabana and we did an amazing tour out to the floating islands, created by a group of people wanting to seclude themselves from the Inca empire more than 500 years ago, the people living on them are completely self-sufficient with more than 50 islands including a hospital and school. Their livelihoods are based entirely around the reed plant which they build their houses and boats from, make souvenirs for the tourists, grind to a flour and fry for food and of course make their isolands from. (See us trying the reeds raw and fried in our photos). The guide told us that only a few of these islands are open to the tourists to it appeared to us that the people relied quite heavily on the tour boats, the houses were basic but most had a solar panel to power lights and a tv (which was a luxury we did not have at that point).
However that changed when, for my birthday mum and dad checked us into a hotel with sky channels, a bath and even little chocolates on the pillows! It was lovely and we felt very spoilt with dinner and a bottle of wine on my birthday, it was our little R & R break! Thank you Mum and Dad for that!
Next was the bus to Cusco, at first excited by the fact it had a toilet, we soon decided we would cross our legs as we think a number of diseases were lurking round that brown toilet seat! arg worst toilet yet lol!! We are here in Cusco now, start the Inka trek on the 31st of march and can't wait, will write soon.
Rae and Mark x