We were up early again to get on to a boat that would take us out into Lake Titikaka. Lake Titikaka stands for Puma Rock so it’s the lake of the Puma and the Rock. The Puma is a big symbol in Peru.
Our transportation from the hotel in Puno to the port were some pushbikes with carriages on the front. 2 people could get into each one and we raced down to the port which was good fun! Not a bad way to start the day.
Once we got on the boat we went to the floating islands. There were several of these located on the Lake but a few had become commercialised meaning that the people did not actually live there – they just got a boat there before the tourists to keep the image that they lived there. We went to some floating islands a bit further on which were more genuine. Essentially these were man made islands created by placing large quantities of mud into the water and tying it together using strong reeds. This structure was then anchored using a few reeds on either side to stop it floating about. The inhabitants would then place more reeds on top and pile them up. When you walk on it it’s like walking on a mattress – which is really soft. The locals then built an outdoor kitchen and also a few houses which had a bed and electricity in. The Peruvian government donated some solar panels so the inhabitants could have some electricity to help them survive.
This was an incredible experience and I’ve never seen anything like it. They had created their own boat which they offered us a tour on. And they also set up little market stools on their island where they sold hand made goods and crafted items. Once we had finished visiting here we sailed on to an island where we would be doing a homestay with locals in their homes.