Friday, November 04, 2005

Puno, Lake Titicaca - 3 Nov 2005

This morning, after a good nightrest I woke up at 06.00 and took a real hot shower. I went for a small breakfast of eggs, bread, coffee and orange juice in the hotelrestaurant and at 07.00 a minibus picked me to bring me and some others to the port of Puno. With about 20 people we went on a boat to the floating islands of the Uros. The Uros already live for centuries on these
selfmade floating islands, made of piles of reeds, isolated from the so called landpeople. We spend about 1 hour on 2 of these islands out of a total of 40.

The sky was blue byt due to the early hour it was still pretty cold. From the
Uros islands we went to an island called Taquille, in the middle of Lake Titicaca. When I went
on this island and looked down to the water it was like I was on Corsica in the Mediterian Sea.
Meanwhile the sun was on full power and that means something when you are on a lake at
a level of almost 4000 meter. I start looking like an African (or should I say Brazillian now).

On Taquille the 2000 inhabitants live according to a socialist/comunist system. The all
work for the community and share the incomes. They have their own rules, there is no police,
no motorised vehicles, and honesty is rule nr1. There is no theft on the island and every week
the inhabitants have a meeting on the plaza to discuss weekly topics or important issues.
When walking on the island I could see a snowtopped Andes mountainrange in Bolivia.

At around 13.00 hr we had luch on the island, a local vegetable soup followed by fresh fish
from lake Titicaca with french fries and rice. Back on the boat to Puno I had a discussion
with an englishmen, a Australian woman and three Israeli,s about the situation in the
middle east and more particular Israel. It was a healthy discussion where everyone had
respect for each orhers point of view so it filled the 3 hours we needed to get back to Puno.

In Puno one or another festival has started today which will go on for 5 days and this evening
they had a parade which looked a bit like a carnaval parade. I am getting the impression that
south americans really like a lot of fiestas.

Tomorow morning at 06.30 in the morning I will take a bus which will bring me along lake
Titicaca over the Peruvian-Bolivian border via Copacabana to La Paz. So today was my last
full day in Peru, time for a short evaluation :

Peru has a lot of drawcards to offer like the Nazca lines, Machu Pichu and lake Titicaca.
Furthermore is has a wonderfull landscape from deserts to high mountains and altiplano.
It also has a huge amazon basin which I could not do because lack of time but I will catch
that up in Bolivia. The people are very nice and open. From nature they are quite, polight
and they never shout to you. The only negative point I could find is the food. I filled my
stomach but never had the feeling of haute cuisine. So, Peru easily gets a 8/10 from me.
Lets see what Bolivia brings the coming week.