26.05.2007 - 28.05.2007 24 °C
Well after abit longer in Cuzco we headed for Puno, which is the city by lake Titicaca. We had a terrible 6 + hr bus ride as we were hung over from our antics the night before. We meet the rest of the people who were going to join our tour mainly Australians a couple more kiwis and a Canadian. Another great thing about this place is happy hour is every hour, so we had half priced drinks all night. The Peruvians love to dance and are really good at it.
We went thru another town on the way called Juliaca, this had to be the worst most disgusting place in Peru, there was litter everywhere, plastic bags, food, anything. There were pigs tied to pegs on the side of the road to eat the garbage, unfortunatley plastic isn't a part of their diet.
We booked into our hotel then rested ready for our big trip the next day to Amantani Island where we would stay the night with a local family. Their home was quite basic, 2 storey with 2 seperate living areas, one was the kitchen and the other was the parents bedroom. There was no electricity and a long drop out side the homes courtyard.
Our hosts were really lovely, there was Olga our mama, and Ignacio our papa, and their 4 kids Wilbert, Yuni, Selena and Lordes. Thankfully the youngest of the kids was 8 so they were well behaved. Infact these kids were unbelievably well behaved, no questions they would drop what they were doing to help their mama or papa. Everytime we gave them something, they would shake our hands and thank us repeatedly, even hugging and kissing us at times.
They were are really happy family, althought they did not have many material possesions, they always had food and were really warm happy people. Everyone on the island worked together to grow crops and harvest, and i'm sure they were more happy than most people.
The food was awesome, they make the most beautiful soups here, we even had pancakes for breakfast in the morning. We had to share the kitchen with some Guinee Pigs these are a common food source among the pople so they breed them to eat. The spanish word for Guinee Pig is Coy, and thankfully I learn't it, so I could make sure we wern't having it for dinner.
Later Olga and Ignacio took me and Ryan to a party at the island hall, we were dressed in traditional Peruvian clothes and walked in the dark to the party. The dresses had these really thick belts, that are great for good posture. I had to were 3 layers of thick skirts that came to just above my knees, a shirt, shawl and the thick belt. Most woman were 4 or 5 layers of skirt, what I had was well enough. Ryan on the other hand had to wear a poncho over his ordinary clothes (hard life).
The woman here are so strong they carry these heavy sacks on their backs everywhere and do most of the farming, all of the cooking and caring for the kids, most men go to the city to work, leaving the woman to take care of everything else. We boogied the night away to some of the most repeditive music of my life, and all of the songs were so long. We bought a beer each, but I could only have a few sips as I was so restricted in my dress I couldn't fit it in.
All in all we had a great time with our host family, and are going to really miss them.
After Amantani Island, we headed to the floating reed Islands. These islands are completely man made by binding reeds together and anchoring them to the lake bed. They are pretty big and house around 8 families on each one. The reason the locals started living on the islands was to get away from the Spanish and the fighting on the mainland.
After the floating Island we returned to Puno to get some rest before our big trip the next day across the boarder to Bolivia.