It took a couple hours from the border before we arrived in this town on the other side of Lake Titicaca. We dumped our bags at a hostel and then figured out what we would be doing with the rest of our day. The first step was to book the overnight bus for that evening, since we had a bit of ground to cover, whether Parker was excited about it or not. This guy wasn’t excited either.
We first walked down the main drag before finding another local place to eat. Soup, chicken, rice, bonus Inca Cola. It was cheap and delicious, as I have come to expect from these little places. What I’ve been loving along the way are these gaudy posters, and this restaurant was covered in them. I can only hope that I stumble upon this eden at some point in my life.
Aside from a couple of ruins scattered around Puno, the main draw were some floating islands. We had the afternoon, so we grabbed the next boat over to check it out. The ride alone was worth the adventure. We sat atop the boat and enjoyed our time on the highest navigable lake in the world.
We weren’t entirely sure what we were getting ourselves into, but indeed they were inhabited islands of floating reeds. We hopped off the boat, down onto the cool stalks, and felt them give a couple centimeters under each step. We sat down while a woman spoke to us about why they were living out there. The chores here were different.
Incredibly, this isn’t some old traditional way of life. Feeling like their ancient ways of life was being hindered by the Spanish influence, they set out for the water. At first they lived right on the boats, but over the years they learned to construct these islands. Now, supported entirely by tourism, these people manage to survive.
We walked around the island and Parker did a little shopping. These people make handicrafts that they push on tourists for a living, and they were unique to some of the other things we had been seeing. I passed on getting anything, and soon we were back on the boat. We were the only three people who didn’t get suckered into paying extra to see another island, so we just relaxed in the slightly warmer boat. The ride back offered a nice sunset.
We had to leave on our overnight bus shortly after that, so we grabbed some pizza and set off. This little town was a nice flavor of Peru, but now it was time for our grand finale. This was my coca tea. Its a popular item throughout South America. The leaves have a slight kick to them.