© 2012 Elys. All rights reserved. Greeted by the residents of Los Uros

Day 175: Audio, Video, Disco

Puno – Los Uros – Amantani, Peru

The tour first brought us to Los Uros, the famous floating islands of Titicaca. These islands are all man-made out of the abundant reeds that grow in the lake.

As the boat approached the one of the islands, the local women in their colourful attires greeted us. While it was definitely a unique experience stepping on these reed island, I couldn’t help but feel like being in Disneyland. The cute ladies would even send us off with a song ending with “Alta la vista baby.” Also, due to the heavy tourism these past two decades, the then poor locals are now pretty well to do. Each house had its own solar panels!

Our next itinerary brought us to the island of Amantani. In Quechua language, Amantani means the island of love. People still live with the Pre-Incan values, where the community is like a big family. Crime is not known here either.

Somehow I had the notion that this island has no electricity. I was told to bring a flashlight. I was wrong! The place is way more developed that I had anticipated. Although, the electricity is only use for lighting and no other electronics. The flashlight did come in handy for the night trip to the toilet which wad outside the house and had no light.

Upon arriving in the island, we were all assigned to our host families. Since I was on my own, I shared a host with another solo traveller, Alberto. Our host, Beatrice, brought us to her home and cook us a wonderful lunch. Her 10 year-old daughter then led us hiking up to the town square to reunite with our tour group.

The late afternoon was spent hiking up to two  major spiritual sites of the island: Pachamama and Pachatata. These are the pilgrimage sites for the Quechuan. Pachamama (Mother Cosmos) brought health, wisdom, knowledge and work while Pachatata (Father Cosmos) worries about the sun, rain and nature in general.

Before the sunset, we descended the hill and headed back to our “homes.” Beatrice prepared us big dinner consisting on their regular diet, Kinwa soup and potato. As soon as we’re done eating, she dressed us up in traditional attire and led us back to the town square for their version of “discotheque.”

It was quite tiring as we were all set into different circle groups which would merge into one giant group, circling round and round with different speed. Amazingly, Beer and whisky were also sold here.

Around 10 o’clock, Beatrice walked us back under the drizzling rain to her house down the hill. She’s equipped with headtorch for there’s no streetlights. I had mine with me as well.

My room was nice and cozy and I fell asleep rather fast listening to the sound of the rain.

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