The Uros Islands
On our first morning we woke to a grey sky, wet earth and a lake whisked up with white caps. Undaunted, we boarded a vessel bound to one of the famous floating Uros islands. Our boat bucked and lurched with waves rising over the prow; at one point water rushed through an open window spraying Finn’s back with an unexpected deluge. Other passengers gripped empty plastic garbage bags and tried to will away the urge to vomit as we rocked violently back and forth for over an hour. When we finally reached our destination, we were all relieved to step onto the springy reed island and be spared from the thrashing lake.
Festivities in Platería & Acora
Titilaca Bike Safari
During breakfast on our final day we spotted a flock of pink flamingos flying over the lake and took them as an omen for a great day. First, we visited Sillustani, a pre-Hispanic funeral ground and archaeological site, where towering tombs (chullpas) dot the landscape and Lake Umayo offers its mirror of Puno’s wide blue sky. The largest chullpa is thought to have taken over 50 years to build and features rocks weighing 2-6 tons! As we departed Sillustani and headed to the parade, we caught glimpses of Puno’s skyline, mostly simple brick buildings sloping toward the lake, many sprouting rebar from their uppermost floors in anticipation of later upward expansion. Balloons fluttering on these stalks of rebar signaled the city’s full immersion in Candelaria activities.