Monday, July 6, 2009

Lake Titicaca

This weekend we went to Puno, the town at the edge of Lake Titicaca, and a couple islands in Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. It's on the border of Peru and Bolivia.
We basically spend two days traveling and one full day there but it was worth it...

On the verrry long bus ride on the way...

snow covered mountains!

market on the way

baby alpaca!

I was afraid of getting spit on when it got too close, another girl in our group Haley had just got spit on.

Once we got to Puno, it was time for dinner. We went out to a restaurant and I decided I need to stop ordering American food here when I crave it because Peruvians just don't make it the same. Two people in our group ordered cuy (guinea pig) and it comes with the whole animal...teeth, eyes, brain, claws and even a little fur. I could never order that!

The next morning we took these tricycle rides to the boat before going to the islands. They were lots of fun to ride through traffic with.
on the boat

view of Bolivia in the distance from the boat..
The huts on the floating island we stopped at. (Only this one had a solar panel.)
They demonstrated how the islands are constructed. It takes years and it's just reeds on top of reeds on top of those big brown bricks of plants on the bottom. They have to add reeds every few weeks. And the islands do move a bit.

The husband and wife live in this hut with their 5 kids.
They gave us their traditional clothes to try on!

We took these boats to a different floating island.
We stayed the night with families on an island called Amantani.
This is the view of the lake from the family's house.
And here are some shots of the house we stayed electricity besides one lightblub in the kitchen, which was separate from the rest of the rooms. They had 4 sheep, a chicken and a cat.

Our host mom Rebecca cooking in the kitchen. We helped peel potatoes too. It was some of the best food I've had since being here, just veggies and rice but super tasty. They spoke Spanish but their main language they spoke to each other was Quetchua, an indigenous language.

This was the daughter, Lupe. She's only 3 and was very shy but very cute too.

All their doors are super tiny, they're all short too.After lunch there was a soccer game with gringos and Peruvians. One of our Cal Poly professors was goalie. It was fun to watch, those Peruvians are intense.

Then we hiked to the highest point on the mountain for sunset. The altitude is weird, it was really hard to breath and stuff but it wasn't a hard hike.

That night there was a fiesta. All the families gave us their clothes to dress up in and we all danced. It was so much fun. One of our teachers, Kevin, was very drunk. We get a very different relationship with the teachers being on this trip together. The dancing was very fun, everyone held hands in big circles and jumped and ran around.

Our teacher, Jim, brought fireworks to celebrate the 4th! We lit them during the dance and everyone came outside, including the band. It was really coool.

The band..

The next day we had a 3 hour boat ride to Puno then a 6 hour bus ride back to Cuzco..a very long day. But at least on the boat ride about half of us decided to jump in the lake. We were told it was 42 degrees F, sooooo cold. But we're only going to be at Lake Titicaca once, right? I didn't take pictures but other people did. It was fun. Even our teacher Jim jumped in, in his underwear! He was swearing because of the cold as he tried to climb back on the boat.

It was a great trip. I'm really glad we got the experience of living on the island for one night but I don't know if I could do it for much longer than that. We all missed our Cuzco families too, kind of funny.

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