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Inca Trail & the Amazon Rainforest

Day 16 - Lake Titicaca Homestay

27th August 2015

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Part 1 - Bobby's Limousine Service & Uros floating Islands 



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Day 16 was the start of the homestay part of the trip, for which we had the fewest pre-conceptions. After the jungle and trek, I'll be honest, I expected it to be a bit of comedown - however it turned out to be a very enjoyable couple of days.

Bobby had said that we had limousines booked for the next morning to take us to the docks - thankfully instead of some tacky gas-guzzlers we had a fleet of bicycle rickshaws - I think I could make out the Quechan for "oh please don't choose me" as I approached our driver.

Our finely tuned machine had a soundsystem which loudly played Sabrina's seminal classic 'Boys, Boys, Boys' as we ground our way through downtown Puno.

While I'll always put low quality pictures up here, this picture only made it because it's the only one of us on the bikes. Other than that, it's just a nightmare vision of what I might look like in my late 70's looking dazed and confused and in need of help...

 
 
Limo

 


Uros floating islands

I remember seeing these islands on kids' programmes as I was growing up. Here the islanders give a demonstration on how the islands are built - naturally buoyant root mass is overlain with reeds - fresh reeds have to be added every 15 days to keep the islands afloat. If there's a dispute on an island, just get the saws out and cut yourselves apart and float off...

Uros Island 1


 
Surprised to find that in such a truly vast lake that the indigenous fish were so small and consist of these goldfish looking chaps and some small catfish. Recent introductions of predatory Trout and Kingfish have depleted their numbers. The fish in the bowl were still alive at this point, though I did see the island's cat swipe one a little later...
 
Uros Island 2


The old lady of the island - 104 apparently...

Uros Island 3



We were invited into the islanders' huts and dressed in their brightly coloured clothes - here Helen is sporting a green skirt, pink waistcoat and  blue pom-poms - but something's missing...

Uros Island 4



That's it, a brightly coloured woollen hat to top it off...

Uros Island 5


 
Check the pom-poms on my man-bag, as I adopt this season's metrosexual Uros urbanite look...
 
Uros Island 6





Ros, a vision in orange and pink - loving the hat Ros...

Uros Island 7



At first glance, Miche appeared to have been dressed as an Uros Leprechaun - don't let them take your lucky charms Miche!


Uros Island 8


 
A simple shift of the hat and it's pure Uros - great volume on those yellow pom-poms and they match the skirt perfectly - it's all about accessorising...
 
Uros Island 9


 
After a little hard sell on the locally handmade & beautiful crafts we boarded a traditional reed boat and were off to one of the larger islands...
 
Uros Island 10



Rowing standing up...

Uros Island 11



Uros Island 12



Rowing sitting down - either way they were calm and glided us in straight line towards our destination. Many of us had a go at rowing this way and found it anything but easy; the oars are incredibly heavy and just keeping them in place was a task in itself, let alone actually propelling the boat through the water. What followed was a period of splashing, drifting, circling and general huffing & puffing as we took our turn; even our Cambridge rower found the oars slightly unwieldy.
   
Uros Island 13


Another boat moored up...

Uros Island 14



Now this is the treehouse that I want - fantastic...

Uros Island 15



Our prow...

Uros Island 16



Another more ornate boat...

Uros Island 17


Great Puma heads...

Uros Island 18


... and rowed without any problem by two little old ladies...


Uros Island 18



You could see the buoyant root mass in the clear water...

Uros Island 19


  
We stopped for coca tea and a passport stamp on this larger island. Some of the islands were very large and they even had a school on one.

Miche and I beneath an arch and Inca cross...


Uros Island 20



Day 1 - London to Amsterdam Day 2 - Amsterdam to Lima Day 3 - Lima - City & Fountains
Day 4 - Lima - Changing of the guard Day 5 - Lima to the Rainforest Day 6 - Rainforest - Macaws & Caiman
Day 7 - Rainforest - Canoe & walk Day 8 - Rainforest to Cuzco Day 9 - Cuzco
Day 10 - Inca Trail - day 1 Day 11 - Inca Trail - day 2 Day 12 - Inca Trail - day 3
Day 13 - Inca Trail - day 4 Day 14 - Machu Picchu Day 15 - Cuzco to Puno
Day 16 - Lake Titicaca Homestay Day 17 - Return to Lima Day 18 - Lima to Home