We leave Copacabana on a regular bus only to stop at the Bolivia/Peru Border a couple of kilometres later. We do not understand the language but by observing and with smiles, we are welcomed in Peru. We arrive in Puno and stay at the Casa Andina Classic Puno Tikarani. The roads are wet and muddy but the hotel has large and comfortable rooms. We have dinner at Mojsa right on the main square of Puno. The food was true Puno flavour and delicious – vegetable soup, trout kebabs and alpaca steak. Stunning! Tomorrow we visit Puno Uros, the floating Islands of Uros.
The Uros people are one of the ancient people of Peru. They were forced to live on these floating islands made of Tortora Reeds, when the Incas expanded on their land. The Tortora reed is used in their homes and furniture as well as boats shaped like canoes but with animal heads at the prow. The reed base of the islands is between 4 and 8 feet thick. The base disintegrates from the bottom as it is soft and mushy. Therefore reeds are always added on top. We partake in a tourist exhibition of daily life and afterwards buy colourful handiwork.
The speed boat awaits us and we leave for Taquile Island. It is a tiny spot in the middle of Lake Titicaca. Time never advanced on this little island. The plus minus 350 Quechua speaking families that live here, operate a 14th Century collective agricultural system. They are renowned for textiles knitted primarily by men. We enjoy a traditional lunch of soup and fish at a private family residence. Typical music and dance of the area is another treat added to the itinerary. The island has a stunning landscape and excellent views of the snow-capped Cordillera Real Mountain Range.