Posted by: Larzizou | July 7, 2008

Lake Titicaca, Puno, Peru

Punosits at the other end of Lake Titicaca, on the Peruvian side. On a limited time frame, it was hard to determine whether I would have (or take, at the expense of some other site) the time necessary to stop there. Well, since you are reading this post, I obviously stopped.

We (Stefan, Andreas – the two German guys I have been travelling with for a few days – and I) found the city to be quite ugly. And boring. And rainy.

The colorful Palacio de Justicia, one of the oldest building I was told.

And the “abogados” (lawyers) that go with it… They are plentiful and their offices can be seen from miles away.

Masticating coca leaves is a national habit, if not tradition, in Bolivia and Peru. It helps local bearing with the altitude, effort and other stuff Wikipedia will probably tell you. The UN condemnation of its consumption sparked strong regional reactions. See for yourself : “Peru y Bolivia se pronuncian contra demencial solicitud”. To be honest, I find it quite absurd too.

Tuk-tuk, taxis, rickshaws… However you call them, they are here to bring anywhere within the confines of the city in a New York minute.

But people don’t stop in Puno for Puno itself but rather as an access point to the floating islands. So there we go. Welcomed like the messiah.

Like the messiah or like walking wallets. People often get invited for the night by families leaving on one of the – completely artificial – islands. We did not, but could not have staed anyway.

Scary boat, isn’t it ?

As you can see, each island is pretty small and host at most a few dozens of families.

They are pretty impressive. Made out of “totora” (rigid plants). Below, an internet cut-paste accurate description of the island structure:

“The totora is a cattail type rush growing native in the lake. Its dense roots support the top layer, which rots and must be replaced regularly by stacking more reeds on top of the layer beneath. The islands change in size, and more are created as the need arises. The largest island is currently Tribuna. The surface of the islands is uneven, thin, and some liken walking on it to walking on a waterbed. The unwary might not notice a thin spot and sink a leg or more into the frigid waters of the lake.”

When you jump, you can feel the platform levelling down and sinking into the water.

There are tens of floating islands. This guy navigates between one another.

This guy just makes life of the locals better by posing. How considerate.

Everywhere in the world, the same fascination (or fabrics)…

Fishermen !

Creeds !

Garden !

Sunset !

Ans the bus station, where from we are leaving to our next destination…

Every single shop sell the same items at the same price. Someone should alert the authorities of the ongoing price fixing abuses…

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Responses

  1. […] Lake Titicaca, Puno, PeruMasticating coca leaves is a national habit, if not tradition, in Bolivia and Peru. It helps local bearing with the altitude, effort and other stuff Wikipedia will probably tell you. The UN condemnation of its consumption sparked strong … […]


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