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Floating Islands on Titicaca LakeAll About Travelling
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Floating Islands on Titicaca Lake

Mar, 30 || No Comments | Tags: , , ,
Floating Islands on Titicaca Lake

Floating Islands on Titicaca Lake

Titicaca Lake with commercial navigation located at the world’s highest altitude, 3810 m of cold water connecting picturesque banks of the Peruvian Bolivian, but tourists staying in the area searches, most times, a small and unique community, Uros , who lives on floating islands made of totora. The climate’s harsh Peruvian Altiplano, the cold nights followed by sunny days UV unforgiving and very powerful people on the islands continues their traditional livelihoods at household shelter crafted high on the waves.

Where is Titicaca Lake?

From the snowy peaks of the Andes in southeastern Peru’s Titicaca Lake covers a large area of ​​8400 km2 in the arid regions of the Altiplano’s – high mountain plateau, the second largest in the world after Tibet. Volume of water, Titicaca ranks first in South America, but the Lake Maracaibo area of ​​Venezuela takes primacy on the continent. No one knows exactly where it comes from the “Titicaca Lake”, but one translation refers to form the lake, a figure that would seem a rabbit hunting cougars. Sure is that the history of this lake link the birth of the first Inca, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, sons of Inti (sun god), down to Earth on an island (Island Sun) in the middle of Titicaca Lake.

On the bank Peruvian city of Puno Titicaca Lake is the main port and center of the country folk. Although the city itself absorbed its charm in the center of commercial and neighborhood streets reflected in the crystal clear mountain lake, discover a human bustle that really gives life and color brown stretch of mountains frown. You can get here from Lima or Cuzco from crossing the Andes on the road from a great height, or more simply, by taxi from the airport in Juliaca, located about 60 km away.
For you lucky you can even stay in Puno for a day, give yourself the care of local guides, as you will know how to organize an excellent trip which, between sunrise and sunset, to have part of the scenery and unique experiences. Classic: a cross by boat to the floating islands, and further, to the heart of the lake, the island of Taquile. Time tourists can stay overnight in one of these locations, or can visit the beautiful islands of the great Titicaca Lake 41. Similarly, villages on the banks, rich cultural traditions, can be targets of a long ride.
But let us return to our tour one day and, even if that journey may seem to you, reader, less feasible sometime in the future, forget poveţele travel through the ranks and will give you the story about people Uros and the utopian life taquilenilor on Titicaca Lake. People can and will find, even for a quarter hour, more beautiful and interesting, and corner them hidden in the mountains over the Atlantic Ocean you will become a good neighbor in the imagination comprehensive.

Port of Puno is animated, the east, because of more tourists embark regular tours. Small ships gradually began to stir waves of the lake and flocks of birds, floating hitherto quiet on clear blue water. Guide says that they try hard to keep clean as lake depths, because local people depend on them. Navigation and fishing on Titicaca Lake are controlled, many areas have come under environmental protection and ecosystem health is monitored constantly. During the first 6 km, up to reach the floating islands, I watched with joy as lişiţele, gulls, cormorants or ducks or wild grazing launch their flights in deep sinks his hungry beaks full of fish. Although until winter have to pass some time, being only April, was a hail overnight strong, the morning sun began to warm lake, and more for the afternoon, just had to take care: strong radiation cause sunburn and burning skin, not cover your head and go to a cream with high protection factor. When the locals see colorful hats, hanging over his ears and forehead, you know that they have learned hard lessons of nature.
Soon the little boat of totora reeds come in, as we near the Uros. The local rush, high, shivering in the wind-and thin green everywhere, formed on the bottom, from their roots, a compact mass, and at the same time, hosts a rich fauna among strains. Schoenoplectus californicus, totora that plays a key role in community life Uros, are used as food, medicine and construction material. It is time to land on the banks of the main unusual floating islands, which houses about ten families.

It seems really great feeling of blockage in your step on the floor of the island. You never know how to say, earth or soil is not only a lingering layer of reeds and crushed each other, in a strange order. Houses: reeds gathered in bundles, well connected, boats: dry reeds, folded, stuffed with stylized forms, observation tower: with feet tall, reedy knitted interiors of homes: cane, cane again. It’s time for explanations and guidance, after we sat in a circle, of course, a kind of long and circular bundle of cane.

Uros pre Inca population was isolated in the past on these artificial islands, in order to better defend the enemy threats. In time, these natives were mixed with Aymara, watching his tongue, but continued to keep some old traditions. Today, it is these habits part of their original life style, have made Uros able to increase the quality of life by joining the tourist circuit. The arid shores of the lake, finding a job was more difficult than living on these small islands of reed and practice hospitality to tourists curious and generous appeared gradually profitable. Some have left the islands, the houses on shore, but those remaining are supported by the government, realizing that the important role of tourism for the entire area.
Totora plant increases, massive, only a small portion of the lake, from the West Bank, to Puno. Here he built Uros islands, raw materials are at hand all year. They were used as basis totora compact mass of roots, which they fixed a water surface using high stakes, tied at the top with twine. Over, put layers of cane cut, it refreshes regularly adding young totora. Work is ongoing basis to ensure households here, who, in addition to small houses, one enclosing the growing guinea pigs. Aging Islands, with layers of rotting, abandoned.

Titicaca Lake Location on Google Maps

Life is not simple people on these islands: permanent moisture and intense radiation predispose to disease and lower life expectancy, totora is changed, the markets on shore, the other basic foods such as quinoa, a cereal consistent, or the fruit, there are only two small schools, a Christian, and a dispensary. However, locals os Titicaca Lake prefer to be treated by traditional methods, for example, when the pain they packed totora white roots and place them over the sick place, the plant flowers, prepare tea, or all the white totorei a removable and put on the forehead, to cool off, chewed, roots provide the body with iodine, preventing goiter. Guide us to taste and we totora, but with caution, because fresh in large quantities causes intestinal problems of Titicaca Lake.
How we are allowed time to visit the island, or to browse the several tens of square meters, got to see inside a house in process of cleaning and preparation for tourists. The beauty of this life you can simply try it sleeping overnight on the island and sharing dinner with family. Fishing fresh fish and roasted on the fire rock layers made sure to satisfy hunger. Some houses have solar panels and TVs, but this does not really bother landscape as a whole, for once left the house, lake, reed and colorful traditional costumes you out of modernity, remembering that time, here, take a break .

Climbing the watchtower rewards you with a great view over the islands, the houses and the mountains, the locals selling handicrafts putting in the game and even joyful children.

A walk through the sea of ​​totora and among islands, with a traditional reed boat, marks the end of the visit and distance from shore is the farewell song of some local women zîmbăreţe, bodies swaying and slow stuff and dressed in clothes with colors intense. Boat paddles move slowly, letting us feel the hot sun and the slow pace of life on islands. Just another craft, bringing children to school, announcing that the generations are changing and with them, maybe floating islands on Titicaca Lake. For now, Uros community lake is open all doors and the watchtower, once the enemies kindly welcomes tourists boats.

After 2:30 to navigate again Titicaca Lake, dozing in the rocking boat us, descend on Taquile Island, located 40 km from Puno. Craggy landscape gets a little gentle hill slopes, some terraced, cultivated, others green and flowering shrubs taking. Here and there, clumps of large trees shade the low roofs of houses, red paths, pre-Inca ruins and Inca, or clumps of gray boulders. We ascend slowly to the village, about 40 minutes to lunch in a small pension.

And here, the 2,000 people round their income from tourism without disturbing the tranquility of the island somehow, in fact quite small. The main food is fish, and vegetables grown in gardens for its sunny slopes are with the plates. Since there is no transport, no beasts of burden, no power, no roads and not many modern conveniences lifestyle here remains very simple and closely tied to nature. “Ama Suwa, Ama quella, llullaw Ama” means, in the Quechua language, “You shall not steal, do not be lazy, do not lie”. There are basic principles of this small community, no police force and led by a mayor and councilors, the latter being married men, rendering, in turn, work for the community. From age 8, boys learn to knit, because women are just fabric. Of the two schools on the island, a young specializes in textile art. Quality materials and original patterns and knitted fabrics have led UNESCO to consider, in 2005, that the handicrafts taquilenilor part of intangible heritage of humanity of Titicaca Lake.
In the village, a handicrafts shop offers its 40,000 annual visitors who pass by the island souvenirs suitable for artisans to show skill and imagination. From height to the landing place on lake down the 545 steep stone steps, opening a splendid panorama. Blue Lake, a special intensity, comes in waves, clouds and body contours and fine small yacht whose sails appear in the distance, butterfly wings rest.

Titicaca Lake on such a sunny afternoon and late, thinking you are entitled to run for a few seconds to warm and inviting Greek islands, lost in the same bright color navy. Then, recall with pleasure the images floating islands, the green reeds, the people with hats and colorful clothes, the boats with the stylized lion heads and children selling miniatures and textiles, because they all will confess, at a time, one patient, traditional community life in the Andes and Titicaca Lake.


Do you enjoy islands as much as we do? Don’t forget to read our list of our favourite Greek Islands or our guide to Marshall Islands

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