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1 OUR BOAT RIDE TO AN ISLAND

2 WALKING TO THE TOP OF THE ISLAND - 400+ STEPS

3 WE REACH THE TOP - AND REST

4 RESTFUL VILLAGE & STARTING DOWN THE OTHER SIDE

5 THE REED ISLAND OF TOTORA

6 FROM TOTORA BACK TO THE HOTEL     

Puno/Lake Titicaca: We spend the day exploring the fascinating life of Lake Titicaca, which is South America's largest lake and at 12,500 feet above sea level, among the world's highest navigable lakes. Up here the air is clearer, the colors sharper, and the horizon farther. By went by boat [some two hours into the lake] to  visit Isla Taquile, known for the high quality textiles crafted by the indigenous people who live here; sales of their textiles support the self-sustaining Taquilenos. On our visit, we saw the men in their signature woven woolen caps with floppy earpieces, and women in tailored waistcoats and multi-layered skirts. We also witnessed the breathtaking natural beauty surrounding us, with Bolivia's snow-capped Cordillera range a striking backdrop to the deep blue of Lake Titicaca. Most of all we climbed up the side of the island to its peak, where this village was located, only to discover the necessity of climbing down the other side, over 400 uneven steps - a somewhat "terrifying" experience, especially at this altitude!  Charles seeing only 2 dimensions found it very troublesome since each step had to be considered on its own, felt out carefully, without any hand railing to help keep his balance.  The trip down hill was far more difficult than going up to the peak of the island.  Happily we survived the trek downwards and gladly, with great exhaustion, embraced the boat which took us back to visit the Floating Island of Los Uros, where the top-hatted Uros people live on "islands" made of the reeds that grow in the lake's shallows; in fact, the Uros rely on these reeds for their boats, the small huts in which they live, household items, and the handcrafts they sell. The children at play were delightful and we were shown how the reeds are used to not only build the island but also as a "food"!

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