More Stomach bugs and Floating Islands

Trip Start Sep 07, 2004
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Trip End Aug 15, 2005


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Monday, May 23, 2005

Hola,

Well since we last posted an entry, I have played football with our waiter friends Jorge and Odi. Now 5 a-side football at the best of times can be knackering but at 3300 metres it is incredibly hard, after 5 minutes I was out of breath, after 10 getting really knackered and after 15 my lungs were on fire. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on which way you look at it, my knee ( even though it has had 10 months rest) collapsed and that was me shot for the evening. I'm regretfully finally coming round to the idea that my footballing days may be behind me.

The day after my game of football we were planning to go to Puno, however it was Liz's turn to come down with a nasty bug. Overnight she had the shits and then the following day an almighty fever so we had to postpone our bus trip and head out a day later ( she has now fully recoverd so don't worry Min).

Eventually, after a very pretty journey we arrived at Puno although we did have to go through one of the most desolate and bleak looking cities in the world that is Juliaca. In Puno we had a day checking out the local markets and incredible local dress. The womens skirts are something resembling a technicolour victorian corset affair and all the middle aged to elderly women wear these bizarre bowler type hats that are about 10 sizes too small, so they seem to be just perched on the tops of their heads.

On our second day we had a day tour on Lake Titicaca taking in the floating Uros islands and Taquille island which is a natural island. The tours are a incredibly well trodden path now but well worth it as the floating islands are like nothing else in the world. They are made out of the reeds that grow in Lake Titicaca and held in place by branches from Eucalyptus trees that grow nearby. When you stand on them you sink a little bit before the ground holds firm. Apparently, according to our guide anyway, people have lived on these types of island since about 800BC and I bet before the tourist came it was a very peaceful existence. We spent about 40 mins on the 1st floating island before getting on a reed boat and heading to another. even though there are boats galore doing the same trips at the same time it was still well worth it as it really is like nothing else we have done. After the floating islands we headed to Taquille which as me and Liz have seen quite a few islands on our trip was slightly dissappointing as all we did was walk to the main square, have some lunch and walk to the harbour to catch our boat back to Puno. However we were lucky enough to witness a wedding procession on the way back to the harbour. Whilst the procession went past us all the men were howling out as though they had had one too many beers.

When we returned to Puno we went out for our final meal in a restaurant called Oscar's where we were served by one of the greatest waiters in the world called Raul and as in most restaurants in Peru were treated to some local Folklore singing and dancing.

Tomorrow we are heading for Copacabana in Bolivia where apparently there are nationwide strikes going on so we may find getting around from Copacabana difficult so we may have to spend a few days chilling and visiting the Isla del Sol and Isla de Luna. The Isla del sol is apparently where the Sun and the first Inca gods came from so should be pretty interesting.
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