Up the mountains and across Lake Titikaka

Trip Start Nov 03, 2008
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46
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Trip End May 2009


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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crossed the boarder from Bolivia to Peru with ease compared to Cambodia although the driving is as scarry and the roads worse. They use a line of bolders to mark out where the middle is, handy as the locals cant tell.
Took a boat trip over to Taquile Island, they were having their festival, which was 5 bands playing loudly in competition, lots of noise and colour and an absence of water bombs and spray foam! Had a home stay over night, which involved lots of sign language as our Spanish was as good as their English. The food was the best yet ( all veggie) and there was way too much of it, which made them luagh as we struggled to eat out of politness. The house consisted of 3 huts, one for cooking, one for sleeping and one was the "bathroom" and all were shared with the chickens. We were dressed up in traditional costume in the evening and taken the to school hall for an "Inkateque" to give the locals some amusement in the abscens of TV. The kids are brilliant dancers , the youngest was about 3 years and he was so cool. We were shattered trying to keep up, the altitude is killing us.
Next day we visited the floating island community of Uros.  They have to re make each family island every couple of years and re thatch the roofs every 3 months as the reads slowly rot...nice smell. Each islnd has its own mini fish farm in it of trout and king fish....an exciting diet : o (

Got to try Alpaca for dinner, think they are probably better left in the mountains than on a plate....Mable x

Mac thought the trip to the border reminded him of the North Island of NZ, it looked like he was looking over the sea rather than a lake some 12000 feet up in the sky.  The border guards have no sense of humour at all and carry guns which made it all the worse when one of them said someting to Mac while he was in the queue, not knowing Spanish very well Mac answerd " No thankyou"..... this would have been ok if it was not for the fact the guard was telling him to stop making so much noise! the Spanish speakers of the group thought it very funny. Puno is a funny little town but easy to navigate, made easier by the fact Mac could now breath at the high alttitude.  Mac tried Alpacca, a bit tough and tasted a bit like Alpacca if that is any help!

He felt privilaged to have been on the islands the same time they were having a drum and bass festival, well more like a battle of the bands really.  This kind of music is easy, the flutey instruments only play 3 notes so this is an instrument Mac could easilly learn,,, Mable refused to let him buy one. The home stay was great and made Mac appreciate the comfort of the shed Mable makes him sleep in.  All the locals were really friendly and the group were met at the river side by a band, playing the same 3 notes and marched up a hill before being forced to play the local youth at football.  Did Mac say he had got used to the alttitude..... ha ha ha even the young ones in the group had problems.  We put up a good fight and would have won if Alex from Oz hadnīt kept kicking the ball over their bar, still it was not his fault, he plays Ozzy rule football and thought he was going for conversions.  Some of the girls of the group played to make up the numbers and in the 3rd half, yes you read it right, Mac played in goal and managed to punch one of the locals in the head taking his hat off, stopped him heading the ball in the goal though.  Mable palyed hopskotch with the kids while this was going on and also realised how important oxygen is.
The party in the evening was their version of a disco, called an INCATEQUE, and yes, we danced to the same 3 note playng band.  Word of warning, the tunes go on for hours, not good after a game of football.... where is the bloody oxygen gone Mac thought again.  Dressing up as a local was great, especially for Mac, all he had to do was put on a hat and a poncho, Mable and all the other girls had to put of 5 layers of skirts... ha ha "Does my arses look big in this?"  YES!  Washing in the morning was done out of the same bucket they flush the toilet with, Mable chose to smell all day.  It was a brilliant trip and Mac impressed them with his German, French, Eskimo and Oz-Zealish, they were not very impressed with his Spanish... it was a long evening!

It was them off to a floating island made out of floaty stuff, now there are hundreds of prople living on loads of these little islands, MAD but they do have solar power and plenty of water Mac thought.  It was soon time to say bye to Puno and off back up the mountains, it is hard to comprehend that this lake is 12000 feet up in the sky, it is so surreal and the way of life so hard... so stop moaning Kids!  Hopefully Mac wont have to play football in the next village, what is Spanish for oxygen tent?  Mac x
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