Las Islas
March 25, 2007

Coming to the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca was quite a change from what I saw over the past few days.

I didn’t have much time here since I only stopped en route to Cusco but I still got a good taste of it. Gone was the island I spent
time on the day before that reminded me of the Mediterranean. It was replaced with scenery that I remember from doing the boat
ride from Siam Reap to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Lake Titicaca continues to amaze me.

The people who live out there are the Uros. Even though they are very close to Puno on the mainland, their way of life is oh-so-

A group of people from my bus took the trip out to the floating islands (known here as ‘Islas Flotantes’). The islands are made up of
reeds that are 2-meters deep.

The trip out there was only a few hours long in total…but to be honest, that was the perfect amount of time for me. We were there
when the sun went down. Holy lord does it get cold out there! Maybe if I was more equipped with the proper attire, it would have
been different. But the lack of a scarf and gloves causes a bit of a problem for somebody who is already a whimp when it comes to
cold weather.

A couple hours later I would find out (with two others) that I had a ticket on the local bus – not the gringo bus. The three of us
gringos were
not excited about this. The locals here carry loads on their backs that are the size of some people’s homes. When I got
off the bus for a second, I noticed the bottom floor of the bus only had eight large seats in it. That was all I needed to see. I went to
the ticket counter and asked how much I would have to pay to get one of those seats. For the low price of ~$2.50, I had the whole
compartment to myself – free of people, free of cramped quarters, free of smells. Now I was beginning to believe I could make it
through the night.

And I did. With eight hours of sleep to show for it, too.

At 5:30am, I was in Cusco.
Back to Peru.
In the main square of La Paz.
Bolivian woman selling fruit.

The hills of La Paz.