LAKE TITICACA - Travel Guide
Lake Titicaca, or Lago Titicaca for the Spanish speaking ones of you, is a lake on the border of Peru and Bolivia. So I guess you could say it has dual nationality. There are many islands within the lake. These can be man made, or natural, such as Isla de sol. I actually started my trip to Lake Titicaca in Puno and funnily enough, this is the most well known for its views of Lake Titicaca... and they totally lived up to expectation. But if you are going to Lake Titicaca, from Bolivia, it's most common to start in Copacabana. Which is in fact nearer to the Isla de sol. It's so close even the mountains in Bolivia can be seen from the island.
THE FLOATING ISLANDS
These are the homes of the Uru People. They are made from reeds which are cut dried and then woven to make a much stronger structure. Then this is anchored with wooden spikes to the lake bed. Then as if this wasn't incredible enough.. they also make their boats and houses out of the reeds.
The reeds are not only good for building things. They can also be eaten, you cut the top part off then peel the skin and eat the middle part. I won't lie to you, it is quite bland, but it's quite cool to think you can never run out of food! You'll never have to pop down your local Tesco again.
The inhabitants of these islands are the Uru people. They even have thier own language called Iru-tu but most also talk Spanish like other south americans.
The original purpose of the islands were for survival. The islands were made to be moved easily and have a good view point to see enemies. This is why the islands had watch towers. So when the enemies did come, they could detach the ropes from the lake bed and move their homes away. Nowadays obviously this isn't as important but maybe it's more useful for looking for sea monsters. Joking aside the Uru people do like to continue there tradition and have minimum contact to the outside world.
Whilst the Uru people do like to carry on their tradition they are far from stuck in their ways. Some islands have things such as solar panels, so that they can have lights, TVs and cooking stoves. People also often go to the main land by boat to get an education, this is normally for higher education because there are schools on the islands.
I really admire the skill the Uru people have to be able to make such amazing things. They have unbelievable visions of what is possible. I do genuinely think that everyone can learn things from these people. I don't mean their skills with reeds or making islands. I'm talking about their open mindedness. Which can be applied to everyone's situation, whether you're living on a floating island or a mansion in Beverly Hills.
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