We headed out on a tour of LakeTiticaca today! The highest navigable lake in the world, LakeTiticaca is home to some interesting people.
The floating islands of Uros are probably the most famous part of Lake Titicaca. The islands are completely made of reeds, as are their houses and boats.
Many tourists visit the islands every day. The local people want the boats to stop at their island so they can sell their handicrafts. They come to the edge of the island and greet the boats as they arrive.
Davy sits on a bench, waiting for an explanation of the islands.
The bottom part of the reeds is edible – just peel it like a banana and eat!
The only natural resources the people have are water, reeds, and fish. John inspects the local fish in this bucket.
Kids are kids no matter where they are – running for the sheer joy of running!
The islands are actually floating on deep water – they are not simply resting on the ground. They use sticks and rocks to anchor them in place, but they still move during storms. If their island has moved, they drag it back in place, then anchor it again.
This is a model of how the islands are made. When they need an island to live on, they head over to an area near shore where the reeds are very thick. Reaching way down to the matted roots, they cut off a chunk of the reeds – they literally cut them with a saw. Somehow – I’m not really sure how – they drag the whole bunch of reeds to where they want the island to be and then pile layer upon layer upon layer of reeds on top of it. The matted base is about one meter thick; they pile about three meters of reeds on top.
Most of the cooking is done outside using wood as fuel, but I saw this stove in a little reed shed.
They also have a small garden to grow their own veggies!
They sleep on the reeds under plenty of blankets against the cold night air.
They even had a small solar panel to provide power for their TV!
Most of the islands had a small fish hatchery where they can grow their own fish.
Once we left Uros, we traveled for 2.5 hours to the island of Taquile in the middle of Lake Titicaca.
The native girls immediately descended upon Daryl to try to sell him bracelets.
All the men on Taquile dress the same except for their hats. If they are married, they wear a red hat, unmarried wear white. Important government officials wear black hats.
Notice the white hat indicating that he is not married yet.
Back on the boat for the long ride to Puno – bundled up against the cold.