Friday, April 15, 2011

Lake Titicaca

We visited Lake Titicaca on a guided tour from our hotel. Like I said in the last post, there are people that live on floating islands out on the lake. This sounds really neat but I have to admit that I was disappointed. The place had lost it's authenticity. There are a number of different islands on the lake. And the charter boats rotate daily which islands they visit. The inhabitants wave at you as you arrive and they are very eager to see you. They are so eager to see you because they want to push their wares on the gullible tourist. The tourist trade is the way these folks make a living and is really the only reason they continue to live on the islands.

Don't get me wrong, it's still neat that they live on these floating islands and it is not an easy way of life. The islands are made of reeds that grow on the lake. The roots of the reeds are the base for the islands and the part that grows above the water is used as the floor of the island. They have to continuously replace the reeds that serve as the base of the island. It is also used to make the houses and even some boats. The houses have small solar panels that are used to create electricity for some homes. We were warned to not eat the fish or drink the water as the waters are polluted from sewage.

We sit around and listen to some history of the islands. Then, as soon as the guide is finished, the locals pounce. The were like assassins, we didn't even here them coming. They just appeared right behind you. They wanted to show you inside their houses. Once you agree to go into their house, they've got you. They are clever, they know enough English to tell you their name and ask you what your name is. Then they keep calling you by your name. After you look at their house, they try to sell you stuff. And don't try to buy from someone else, you are their dumb tourist.

OK, enough words, more pictures.

As we're making our way to the islands, we pass these islands that have pigs on them. This was cause for another memorable Fukundo quote: " There's a pig in the water!" We thought it was funny.

They're saying, "here comes another boat load of suckers".

The islands are large enough to support some large buildings. The kids go to school on the islands and there is a hospital too.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Annette said...

That can't be real! Floating islands made of reeds?