After spending two days at Machu Picchu and several days visiting other ruins, spectacular churches and various Peruvian sites, it's hard to imagine that there is anything more spectacular in this country to see; however, today proved this assumption wrong. I think it's fair to say that all of us in the True Blue Duke Peru Crew were shocked when we boarded a private "speed" boat today to travel across Lake Titicaca (LT- the 21st largest lake in the world), only to land on a floating island. One of 79 floating islands on LT, we visited Los Uros, an island with 25 inhabitants; the total population of the 79 islands is 2,000.
Frankly, the island was just amazing. Constructed out of reeds, we got a complete lesson on how the island and the houses were built. The people are extremely happy and live a very simple life. When the island begins to wear down, they just build a new one. They also build boats out of reeds and we boarded one that held all 25 of us. We then visited another floating island, where a kindergarten is located. By the way, the reeds are quite versatile, as the islanders also eat them.
Getting back on the speed boat, we made our way to Isla Taquile, an islandknown for its high quality textiles crafted by the people who live there. These textiles (hats, cummerbunds, etc.) are quite meaningful and symbolic, as how they are worn and what pattern is woven into them, signals an individual's availability for marriage. By the way, these islanders believe in living together before marriage, as divorce is frowned upon.
Our guide today told us that the children on these islands are taught three things: Don't lie, don't cheat and don't be lazy. Again, simple but not always easy.
LT was a beautiful and fascinating lake - no sailboats and no jet skis - just simple elegance. We were also able to enjoy a great view of the snow-capped Cordillera mountain range of Bolivia, elevation 15,300 feet!
Tonight, we enjoy our farewell dinner, as tomorrow we visit the burial towers at Sillustani overlooking Lake Umayo, before we make our way to the airport for an overnight flight back home.
What an amazing experience this has been! I cannot imagine a more fun trip with more interesting and caring people. Dukies are the best!