I decided, Titicaca it should be. One if the highest navigable lakes on earth, with hundreds of islands and two different nationalities. Historically, it is one of the most important pre-Incan heritages, and gives insights if the life’s of the incas (Peruvian indigenous people) ,and tiahuanaco (Bolivian indigenous tribes). As if the landscape was not breathtaking enough, it is also littered with ruins that each tell their unique story about faith, the connection to the cosmos and ancient traditions. I started off in Puno, one of the main cities on the Peruvian shoreline of the lake. Hopping on a boat early in the morning, our first destination were Uros floating islands. Built out of reed by the traditional tribes, they are not much bigger than an average class room, but offer enough space for a few families to live on. These families use reed for all their constructions: banana-shaped boats, houses, roofs, benches, sleeping matts, sales displays and of course the ground they walk on. Each of those constructions has to be constantly taken care of and is usually completely exchanged after one year. The little bit of electricity used on the islands comes out of the small solar panels that were installed by the government 15 year ago. Today, the biggest source of income is tourism, so women spend their days making textiles and men take foreigners on reed boat rides. Yes, the islands are quite touristic nowadays, but also impressive and definitely worth the trip. Who doesn’t want to jump across an island and make the ground shake a bit? Our next stop was Amantani Island, where we were welcomed by host families, hiked up to the temple of the sun and enjoyed the 360 degree view. In the evening, the Amantanians taught us their island dances and gave us traditional clothes to wear out. I already mentioned Titicaca’s beauty during daylight, but it is also an amazing place to see the Milky Way move it’s way thought the night! On the next day, we continued our boat trip to the islands Taquile and Peninsula, where we learned about the meanings of white or black blouses (married or single), hiked to more temples and ate Titicaca style trout. It was an amazing short trip, that made me even more excited to come back in mid august and visit the Bolivian side of the lake and some different islands. Right now, I am already on my way to the next adventures.. Look forward to new stories from the Colca canyon, the Peruvian desert, the cost, and the capital next week!
by: Clara Bütow