It gets cold up here
Trip Start Aug 23, 2008
26Trip End Jun 15, 2008
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We´ll keep this short because we didn´t have a lot of craic. Just took it easy and stuffed our face full of ´Chiffa´ which is Chinese in Peru. Keva is buzzing because you can always get a good Chinese when you're feeling low.
The whole craic with Puno is lake Titicaca and it's various islands, each with their own culture and sometimes their own language. The most spectacular of them are the Islas Flotantes (Floating Islands) and yes they really are floating islands made of reeds and they're inhabited by hundres if not thousands of people. They're located about 5km out from Puno and are made of reeds, the top layer being constantly replenished every month as the bottom layers rot. The Uros people who live on them built them so they could isolate themselve from all the aggressive Incas and Collas in the arean hundreds of years ago.
Anyway, enough of the lecture, we had to go see them as there is nothing else like it in the world. We booked a tour with the hostel to go there and were a wee bit dissapointed to be picked up in a flash tour bus packed with tourists. The islands are stunning but this experience feels very fake. You don't really get to wander about them and what time you have not listening to the tour guide is for the locals to display their overpriced trinkets in front of you. I can just picture the locals when they see the boats coming 'Pedro, get into your room and get those nike air max classics and that AC Milan top off you and get into your stokey traditional gear, there's money to be made'. I don't mean to be ungreatful but I thought a portion of the tour fee was for the locals. Apparenyly you can hire a private boat and go to the more remote ones further out, but then that´s our fault for being too lazy to do that.
We didn't want to go to the other non floating islands as Keva may not have hacked the three hour boat ride and I thought the pictures didn't look any more spectacular than Tory, which we can do at home.
Anyway, next stop Cusco and Keva's motivation for this whole Peru business - Machu Picchu. On the bus out these old women got on with some bus 'snacks'. In front of us she opened a sack with a side of a cooked pig in it and started hacking at it with her machete type knife. For about 10p you get a plastic sandwich bag with a baked spud and some scaggy looking pork in it. The Peruvians beat it into them. Keva nearly puked at the smell. I'm telling you, it was all in the presentation.