Titicaca

Now I know what it feels like to walk on a sponge.

On the shores of Lake Titicaca lies the Peruvian city of Puno. With its hills and steep roads, it kind of reminds me of Valparaiso. Except Valparaiso was at sea-level. And much more colorful. Puno looks rather shabby and run-down. It’s enclosed by a rather large peninsula, so as not to provide much of a view of the lake. And my guidebook advised against going to the tops of the hills for any miradors. Besides, at over 3,800 meters already, it’s hard enough for me to walk around without climbing hills.

So this is going to be a short post.

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The word titicaca itself translates to “grey-colored puma” in Aymara. Or so I was told. When viewed from the proper angle, the lake does sort of resemble a big cat, in the way that a group of stars can look like a horse with the tail of a fish.

The lake itself is beautiful. The water is clear, acting like a mirror for the surrounding hills and clouds above.

I took a water taxi out to the Uros. The Uros are a collection of islands near Puno made out of reeds. The islanders–also called Uros–weave the reeds together on top of big chunks of dirt, then anchor the whole contraption to the bottom of the lake. Essentially, they live on barges.

The reed islands were soft and squishy under my feet. Like a sponge.

My host on the Uros made sure to note that the Peruvian half of the lake is the “titi” part, and the Bolivian half is the “caca.” From what I’ve heard–and seen–I think the opposite might be true.

But it doesn’t matter. Puno was just a waypoint to Cusco, where adventure awaits.

 

 

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