Peru – Floating Islands & Cool Costumes

Better late than never… Lake Titicaca.

This lake is shared by Bolivia and Peru. So the token English speaker on the Peruvian side describes it as:

Peru got the Titi and Bolivia got the Caca!

I am pretty sure it’s the same, but vica versa, on the other side.

First up was the Peruvian flag. They’ve got a nice one…

Flag Hijinks... or not

If I was better organized, with scissors and red construction paper I would have added a Maple Leaf. As proven above, I am a gifted artist. Perhaps next time. But only temporarily because the Peruvians would have been pretty upset…. and they probably have a ‘Lake Law’ that allows them to throw people overboard for these sort of offenses.

On the floating islands, it was interesting. Pretty kitschy – the driving force now is tourism. What was interesting is that there might be a floating KFC out there too because everyone was in really, really bad shape. Those islands are truly… buoyant. But it’s probably quite difficult to exercise being on a floating island so I shouldn’t given them any grief. And, because everyone was so big (wide) it is just one more reason for no improvized Canadianizatons of the flag because they would have made quick work of me.

They float!

I did a home stay on the real islands, Amantaní and Tacquile. There was a group of about a dozen people which was fun. The island people, as contrasted with the floating island people, were all in great shape. This was pretty due to the hills that needed to be climbed to get from the lake to the village. Our sweaty tourest group did a some sweating.

But no sweating here for the mandatory team photo....

The men there have some very cool Clint Eastwood ponchos. I didn’t see any of these on the Uros floating islands. If bulked up, to the tune of another 150 lbs or so, I’d probably wear a poncho. It’s pretty forgiving. Also is a pouch for coca leaves (not a man purse) and a touque. The guys all got these but my pancho was the most Eastwoodish. The girls got the skirts, the dress shirts and the cool cloaks. This is Liz, my friend from the hostel before, and I in cool gear.

The home stay was a lot of fun. It was with a very nice family with a 10 and 11 year old sons. Their names were Dario Jr and Elvis. They had a lot of Spanish which was lucky because more people in the area speak only Quechua. To get to the big fiesta, the Elvis got stuck being the guide for the ten minute walk. I bought him a big chocolate bar to share and then some crackers. On the consideration that he share with his brother. Later at dinner, he at pretty much nothing. The chocolate bar was nowhere to be found. Hmmm.

Host Family

The view from the family's house.... the Lake is so big that it's like looking the ocean.

On the way back to the boats the next morning two bulls started to fight.

Bull Fight!

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