After two nights in the Colca Valley we headed off to Puno with midday and arrived there in the evening. The touristic buses are really comfortable and driving for six to ten hours really isn’t that much of a problem. Especially because the buses stop regurlaly at different sights on the way.
In Puno, we stayed in the Royal Inn which is directly around the corner of the main square. Arriving late that evening we stayed in the hotel for dinner and went to bed quite early. The next day we met our guide again early in the morning – this became a habit on our trip – and set off to the Titicaca Lake.
We boarded one of the touristic boats and started our journey to the floating islands of Uros. The islands are made from sea weed growing in the lake. People layer it up until it is fat enough to carry them and their houses.
I have to admit that I found it very interesting to see how people lived on those islands. It was truly fascinating. However, I got the feeling that people only still live on those islands because so many tourists come there every single day craving to see the “original living”. The younger generations are leaving the islands to study and work in the cities if they can afford to do so.
Taquile is famous for its nitting men. Following their customs men learn to nit when they are little and keep nitting until they are adults. The nitted hats and clothes of the people on this island are very traditional and show for example if people are married or not. A white and red hat for example means unmarried while a red hat means married.
Walking up the steep hills of the island we felt the altitude. With nearly 4000m above sea level the Titicaca Lake belongs to one of the highest lakes in the world. Not only the location but also the size of the lake is impressive. From the center of the island one has a fantastic view over the lake. If the sky is clear you can even spot the mountains of Bolivia.
On the Taquile island we had one of our best lunch of the whole trip. Our guide took us to a local bar where we ate delicious grilled fish with potatoes and rise – so yummy.
After lunch we walked back down to our boat and drove to Puno. We took the chance of a free evening and explored the inner town. Right next to the cathedral is a former kind of monestary complex where you can find nice shops and a great café.