...and also Floating Islands, Lake Titicaca, Peru
27.05.2007 - 30.05.2007 20 °C
Copacabana (no, nothing in common with Rio´s famous sandy beach) is a nice little fishing village on the beautiful Lake Titicaca, not far away from the peruvian border. We are still heading north and thought to rest here for a couple of days. Celebrating our kind of 10th anniversary, we found the right spot to chill out in the hostel "La Cupula" run by german Martin (from Bochum) who left Germany some 13 years ago. What a lovely guy, so helpfull and he has done an amazing job building La Cupula ("Die Kuppel"). The hostal is a little bit higher up on the hill, hence you get amazing views on the lake and town. I need to find an update the blog with some photos of the work he has done building the honeymoon suites we stayed in. Not that we got married in a hideaway and just spend our honeymoon here (far too cold). We just thought, hey why not. Lake Titicaca is apparently the highest navigable lake, it is huge and once trekking from north to south on Isla des Sol, which is a day trip from Copacabana (very important for the locals as it is assumed that the Sun was born here..or did i get this one wrong), this place reminds me more than any other place of Croatia. The lake looks like the Adriatic Sea and the shore and islands just look like the many islands on the dalmatian coast. Once, we managed our 3 to 4 hours trek across the island, i was happy that we didn´t manage to book the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu in Peru which was something i really wanted to do, before arriving in South America. Originally a must do, i am much more realistic now and realised that it is hard to even walk for half a day, hence not being able to book the Inca Trail until August as the per day numbers were reduced to 500 per day by the government, was appreciated.
Another funny thing in Copacabana was the car and bus blessing (in front of a huge stunning basilica) mainly on saturdays where the locals spend a fortune, pampering their cars (cleaning it, flowers...the full monty) to avoid car crashes. Not all the steets are as scary as the "Death Road", but i do see their point.
On our bus journey to Peru we bumped into old (ha, ha) israeli friends who recommend to see the floating islands on our way to Cuzco (stop over in Puno as we had 5 hours to kill). Hey, and how glad were we that we had this stop over (see the photo of the little boy). Floating islands (there are about 45 islands in Puno) are inhabited by locals, who basically can´t afford to live onshore, hence they build themselves islands on the lake, which are magic. They just look so cool, cute and amazing. So, for instance, if one family on one island has an argument, they have a couple of solutions. 1. cut the island and split it. 2. take their "straw or kind of bamboo" (sorry probably didn´t listen enough to the guide) house, put it on one of the boats and move to another island. How cool is that ? Reality is of course that the whole story about the Uros tribe is pretty sad. The living conditions are completely basic, they are poor, live partly from tourism and fishing and again, once the sun is in, it is soooo cold here.