Lake Titicaca & Puno, Part 2

After our volleyball games (round 1), we dressed in the local finery for some photos. We also perused potential purchases. Then, we went to the dining room to help chop veggies and peal potatoes, but were not compelled to help out in the kitchen. Another great dinner, and then off to bed for one of the best night’s sleep ever. There’s something about the weight of four heavy handmade blankets, cold, clear, and very thin air, the exhaustion of another busy day, and perhaps the primordial purity of our surroundings…

 

The next morning I woke up early and walked around. Calixto made an oven and was cooking lunch long before breakfast. After breakfast, we made our own ovens in a sort of competition. Both teams were winners, one for speed, one for quality. Then, it was time for round 2 of the volleyball tournament – good times again (no pix ’cause I finally got to play). Eventually, we had the lunch that had cooked all morning – various potatoes and calabasa with several tasty sauces. Afterwards, we bid farewell to our gracious hosts & hostesses, and once again set out upon the lake…

 

Our next destination was one of the “Floating Islands” of Lake Titicaca. Now, kind of tourist thing, but once upon a time, a necessity to avoid the Spaniards, etc. There are dozens near Puno, but we were further out on the lake when we encountered the Uros people. Not only did we learn some of their history, but also techniques for building a floating islands out of reeds – actually everything is out of reeds: boats, houses, clothing, even edibles. The wind was getting the best of our reed boat, so a modern, motorized one pushed us back. Then, our more modern, bigger motored boat took us back to Puno…

 

On the way back to Puno, Charlie got sunburned on the roof of the boat. We had an afternoon to poke around Puno, and I stumbled upon a protest in front of the main church. Hundreds of indigenous, mostly women were seated, flanked by riot police. Not sure what the kerfuffle was about.  That night, Giscard took us to dinner show featuring all kinds of music and dance routines depicting Peruvian culture, and a fried Guinea Pig (I sampled, but too squirrelly for my taste). The next morning we were up early for the bus to La Paz (and our farewell to Giscard at the border).

 

At the Peru-Bolivia border, our farewell photo with Giscard and the crew of “Team GC.” It really was a great group to travel with, and GC was a great guide – his equanimity, knowledge, and presence made for a wonderful experience in Peru.

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