INDIANS of LAKE TITICACA, PERU ...YYThere
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.
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.
over this upside down map for the puma and the hare.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
2012 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.