23 May 2008

Lake Titicaca, Peru

After Machu Picchu we headed to Puno, which is on Lake Titicaca, the largest, highest lake in the world. While there the farmers were striking and therefore local attractions were closed, many of the businesses were closed as well as the buses and taxi's stopped running. We had to catch a bicycle to the docks to go on our tour around Lake Titicaca.

Lake Titicaca is home to the unique floating island of the Uros constructed from interwoven totora reed. They are pretty amazing and the people living on the islands are not Peruivan.

Many centuries ago the Uros constructed the floating island to isolate and protect themselves from their rival Incas and Collas. There are no pure blooded Uros left in Peru as they have intermarried with Aymara speaking natives that predominate the area. They have fish farms and sell fish as well as crafts woven from the reed.

To view our photos, visit my Uros Island album.

After Uros, we treked over the island of Taquile. The island is beautiful with lots of pre-inca terraces. There is about 300 families that live on the island. We stopped in at one house who hosts guests and cooks a delicious lunch using local produce. We had a delicious vegetable soup and baked fish. From the island you can see part of Bolivia.

To view our photos, visit my Taquile Island album.

On our last day we visited a pre-Inca complex that has amazing funeral towers called "chulpas". The place is called Sillustani and the chulpas were built by the Collas people to bury their nobles. As with the pre-Inca and Inca beliefs, the noble Collas also were buried with their personal belongings and food for their journey to the next world. Some of the "chulpas" reach over 36 feet in height.

To view our photos, visit my Puno and Sillustani album.

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