Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We woke up early because we had another island to visit. We took the boat to Taquile island. The lake was really rough this morning. The waves were huge and water was splashing over the windows and everything. I was really glad I don’t get sick easily!!

This island was much smaller than where we spent the night, and the dress was definitely different. Everyone here has a dress code to identify each other, of sorts. Males all wore hats: red if they were single and half red and white if they were married. Single girls had big coloured pom-poms attached to their braids or their black shawls, and married women have black pom-poms. It was kind of interesting to learn.

We hiked up to the top of the island where the central plaza is located. They had a collective market where all the communities on the island brought their crafts to sell. I bought a bunch of bracelets – I couldn’t resist the cute little girl selling them to me at at 1 sole each, it was kind of fun!

We walked up a path of sorts to a family where we all had lunch. They made us trout from the lake as well as kinwa soup and rice. The trout is actually Canadian – well, it was introduced from a Canadian species once upon a time, in any case.

To get down the other side of the island there were something like 200 stairs! I found out that it is much easier to do stairs that are dry and without a backpack! And, the views were pretty awesome.

Down on the beach, there were ladies collecting sand in large rice sacks. There were also guys using hammers and chisels to break off pieces of rock. I am thinking they used these things to make their walk-ways everywhere on the island (which were very well done!). It was amazing to see people having to do that to get their building supplies.

The three hour ride back to Puno was a little bit tedious. Thankfully the water was much calmer, but it was still a long ride. A couple of us were trying to figure out why three hours was the magic number and we think it was because the boat driver gets paid per time on the water or something along those lines. We could have taken much less time to get back, but oh well!!

When I got back to the hostel the shower was pretty awesome! I was in a room with three guys from Buenos Aires, however, and not going to lie, they smelled pretty bad and were super messy! Oh well! Only one night!! Makes life interesting.

I found out at this point that the plane I booked from Juliaca to Lima for tomorrow decided not to fly! Somehow, I was not surprised. At least I got an e-mail saying they would reverse my payment! So, that was fun. The wonderful lady that works at the hostel called the bus station for me and thankfully they still had seats available on their 3pm, 21h bus to Lima, so I took a tuc-tuc down to the station and managed to get a “bed” seat from Ariquipa to Lima, which is the 15h overnight bit! I lucked out there! The second floor is just like a normal bus and I think that would be a long ride like that!!

I made my way to the central plaza where I managed to finally mail a couple of my post cards! They are pricy suckers, so hopefully no one is really expecting any!! 🙂 The plaza was nice, but Cusco was nicer! The churches here are pretty, but the atmosphere isn’t the same as it was in Cusco.

Dinner was fun because I ran into the Calgary guy from my boat trip as well as one of his friends that is from Australia, who I had met up on top of the mountain at Amantani. All three of us headed off for pizza and beer for dinner. It was very fun to talk to them about all of their travels and neat places they have been. I am excited about a trip that that Aussie has done – she went and hiked something like 335 days on El Camino de Santiago, which is the pilgrimage through Spain. You stay in Monastaries and hike about 25km a day. It sounds totally awesome! I am thinking that is a must-do in the future. (I think that is the walk that Jill Campbell did – the painter that mom and I like on Salt Spring)

Off to sleep – hopefully a good onebecause I have a feeling my next couple of nights are going to be interesting!

Night

-Allison

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