Thursday, March 8th, 2018
Day 19 of G-Adventures Inca Heartland tour
“Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno.
Spend the morning with the homestay families, then depart after lunch. Visit the floating islands of Uros on the way back, and learn about the unique lifestyle of the locals. Meet residents and learn how they built the islands with totora reeds, which are also used to make their homes, boats, crafts (and are also edible!).
Take a tour of the unique Uros Floating Islands. Learn about the buoyant totora reeds that grow in the shallows of Lake Titicaca used to make everything from the islands themselves to the boats the islanders use for transportation (if constructed well, they last up to six months). Find out from locals how the islands are constructed; as the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top.”
It was not so cold at the homestay. We wake up at 7:30.
They even provide hot showers, but don’t spill the water upwards, you may die of the electric shock.
Schedule is to meet Rosa at 7:45 in la cucina and help her with her work. It is sunny, partly cloudy, the view over the bay is awesome. We go out and wait to get homestay work assigned. Jesus tells us which animals he has and what he grows on his fields (corn, Quinoa, oregano, potatoes, onions, apples, …).
Good luck, we help making fried bred. Nobody has to clean the pigs place ore shave the sheep or do something with the noisy donkey monster.
08.03.2018 07:30 S 15°47.6165′ W 069°49.4382′ altidude 4.104 masl @ Luquina Homestay
For breakfast it is fried bread (cholesterol + 2) with strawberry Marmelade (cholesterol + 1) hardboiled egg (cholesterol + 1). I got a 1 ton Ball of fat in my stomach.
Yesterday we told our guide we would like to hike a little bit, so he picks us up at the farm and walks straight up the hill with us.
08.03.2018 09:16 S 15°47.4060′ W 069°49.2335′ altidude 3.979 masl @ Luquina uphill
We walk down for lunch at the homestay. Rosa cooked already – Quinoa soup and fried cheese (the fat ball in my stomach is growing bigger). Gladys told us to avoid cheese because they donot pasteurize milk. We eat the cheese.
08.03.2018 09:55 S 15°47.6165′ W 069°49.4382′ altidude 4.104 masl @ Luquina Homestay
After lunch Jesus brings us down to the habour. Everybody hugs everybody, we say thank you for hospitality, he says thank you for oil, noodles, rice, fruits and marmelade we brought and off we go with our little boat. It is sunny and significant warmer. We go to a floating island.
Our guide shows us, that we can eat the material, the floating islands are built of. Tastes a little bit like salery.
The master of the island (grandfather of the family and builder of the island) shows how they build and maintain the island. One of the sons designed to split, then they cut a part of it.
They have solar power and big car batteries, mainly for light and cell phone charging. We look in one tent. It’s totally reed built, with plastic under the reed of the roof. The electricity is super professional fused and watertight build. Not more else in the tipi.
Afterwards the offer awful handicraft and a 10 soles ride in the Mercedes-Benz taxi. We donot go with it.
8.03.2018 13:46 S 15°49.1367′ W 069°57.8795′ altidude 3.917 masl @ Lake Titicaca Floating Islands
There is complete floating city:
We continue with our boat back to Puma, tip the guide. As we come to the harbour there is thunderstorms and rain. We walk to the minibus and go back to our hotel. Our bags are still in the same room (G adventures has an agreement with most of the hotels, that if you are 1 night away inbetween a two night stay, you leave your stuff packed up in the room. If they can sell the room they put the luggage in a locker and back again. If not, they leave it in the room.).
I go to banca de la nacion for cash. 100 people in the queue but an ATM for tourists only. Thank you. Afterwards I have a shower and then we go with the group to our final coffee.
Gianni and us split from the group afterwards and look for a bar to qirkle. The first bar has a red carpet, promises a lot but seems to be rather dry.
So we go to the next. Dark, very sweet drinks, suspicious, exactly what we need.
We leave the bar to be on time for the highlight of our holiday, the evening dance folklore show in Balcobes de Puno Restaurant (daily at 7:15 pm for tips only). I get a message from Torres del Paine Sonscha, that she is in Puno, too. We agree to meet at the dance show.
The folklore dance show is more than a carnival mockup, the food is surprisingly good.
We meet Gladys there, too. She leaves early.
Afterwards we go home to sleep.