peru13.jpg (28305 bytes) Mast from Uros boat on Islas Flotantes.  Islas Flotantes, the floating islands of the Uros people, are made completely of totara reeds that grow abundantly in Lake Titicaca!  The islands are constructed of many layers which are approximately 2 meters deep.  As the reeds rot away at the bottom, they are simply replaced on top!  The ground is soft and springy, and feels very odd to walk on. 

The Uros have intermarried with Aymara-speaking indians, and no pure-blooded Uros exist anymore.  Always a small tribe, they began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from the Collas and the Incas.


Uros Islands.  The Uros frequently trade fish for spices and vegetables at the Sunday markets.  But whooops, I mentioned that already on the last page... peru14.jpg (46379 bytes)

peru15.jpg (29621 bytes) Isla Taquile, a "real" island on Lake Titicaca.  We stayed here and on Isla Amantani with a local family in their house, eating homecooked meals.  We also walked around both islands quite a bit, exploring the hilltops as well as the coasts.  Both islands were beautiful, although at over 4100 meters in altitude (around 13,500 ft.), we were heaving at some of the climbs to the tops of the peaks!

This particular gentleman was carrying a metal door along a high rocky trail to his son's house when I caught up with him.   Curiously, though, he didn't want to pose for the picture with the door.

Most of the men on Isla Taquile wear tightly woven woolen caps and always seem to be walking around the island knitting them.  It's a major source of revenue for the Taquile residents, and the quality of the woolen products are among the best in Peru.


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