World Travels......South America... ...Peru fe..Peru Mural.




UROS INDIANS of LAKE TITICACA, PERU ...Y YThere was no official kind of tour on my first visit to the islands. But, I signed up for a tour on this second go around.  My guess was that was the only option.  On the plus side of things, this time I had a guide who spoke English.
The guide provided information I never had before.  For starters, he explained why the lake had such a crazy name. Titicaca means Puma (Titi) and Grey (caca).  And, if you turn the map of the lake upside down, and use your imagination, it sort of looks like a puma chasing a hare.
Scroll over this upside down map for the puma and the hare.

There were 60 islands made by the Uros.  Each island had a base made of totora roots that were cut from Lake TIticacac during the low season of the waters.  Blocks were cut in meter cubes and place two blocks deep.  Then, harvested reeds were placed upon those blocks to build the islands.  It all sounded relatively solid for floating islands.  However, each island was staked into place to keep it from floating on to Bolivia.

The Uros used the reeds to build the islands, their homes, their boats and they even ate totora reeds. (They tasted about as delicious as corn stalks.)

We visited two islands.  My, oh, my!  How times had changed.  There were many homes that were now made of metal or had metal roofs.  I saw television antennas as well as solar panels.  The Uros were really prepared for tourism, too.  At the first island, all their handicrafts were set up for display.  And, everyone got an introduction about how the islands were really made.

On my first trip, I rode one of their reed boats.  It might have been five minutes, but I rode in one.  This time there was a special made reed tourist boat to take the group to the next island.

The second island was set up with a bar and restaurant.  Of course, there were more souvenirs.  It was even harder to find photos to take. I did, however, like the reed outhouse with a clay toilet.  That made the trip worthwhile.

Copyright 2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.