Lake Titicaca is located in the altiplano plateau, the largest plateau in the Andes, on the boundary of two wonderful countries Peru (to the west) plus Bolivia (to the particular east). When We arrived in the town of Puno, upon the banks of Titicaca, I did not know the lake’s cultural history, the importance for the locals, and the mythology behind the foundation associated with the lake.
Lake Titicaca one of the particular special places within South America
The local communities of the particular two countries believe that Titicaca is the center associated with creation. They say that God Viracocha created the sun, the moon, plus the first individuals out of Titicaca. The god guaranteed its children that will they will regularly be happy and safe when they didn’t ascend the forest where the particular sacred fire burned perpetually.
The legends inform that the satan was jealous showing how the people adhered to god’s rules. So the satan encouraged them in order to defy God, ascend the mountains, and obtain the eternal fire. Seeing his children coming up the forest, the god delivered ferocious pumas down the hills to chase the people aside. Then the angry god flooded the mountains with tears. Within the process, just one couple survived and the pumas drowned, too.
At the end of it all, there lay the lake, surrounded with stone pumas, figurines of the ones that had died. The survival few decided to call the particular place – Lake Titicaca – River of the Rock Pumas.
The lake’s first inhabitants go as back as second millennia BC. The majority of Peruvians and Bolivians fear and revere Titicaca like their particular other gods. These people believe that the holy spirits associated with the dead nevertheless live at the bottom of the lake.
Peruvian & Bolivian Side
While traveling within South America for nine months, I finished up exploring Lake Titicaca for several days from both Peruvian and the Bolivian side. I could feel the energy associated with the lake also while roaming around in the town of Puno. Yet it was only when I wandered to the coast line of Titicaca I actually realized how huge the lake has been. It really is about 280 meters deep and spread over the surface area associated with 8, 300 sq km (3200 sq . miles). Running through northwest-to-southeast for 120 miles (190 km), Titicaca is the second largest lake in South The united states. It is the biggest freshwater river on earth .
From its banks, Titicaca appears and feels like a good ocean. It is said that will from above the particular lake looks such as a puma hunting a rabbit.
Sailing upon the Lake Titicaca
A person will experience the true spirit of the lake when you sail onto it in a tiny local wooden motorboat. You will find bigger vessels and motorboats cruising the deep azure waters. But the particular most meaningful and sustainable trip can be experienced by hiring a local, or even rather I say requesting one, to take you upon a boat ride. Maybe for a few hours, halting by floating island destinations, or by accompanying them as significantly as their homes, which is what I did.
My local guidebook in Puno, whom had already delivered me on the trip to Sillustani funeral towers of Inca, sent me on a two-day tour to the particular islands of Uros, Taquile, and Amantani.
We all traveled on the blue rippling water of Titicaca to get two hours plus arrived at one particular of the Uros islands. Here the neighborhood guides were waiting for us with interested eyes. A few women in large straw hats and pink, yellow skirts stood on the particular edge from the island watching us.
Floating Isle on Lake Titicaca
As they held our hands to assist us jump through our boat on to their home, I was already mesmerized. Where was I? First I was within Puno, this big town where rainfall fell all day long, with a lot of tourists plus Chifa restaurants. Right now, I was on this giant lake, on a golden, floating isle. That at first appeared like a big, hay number.
Actually, we are talking about an altitude of 3, 800 meters above sea degree. Which is how higher this lake can be.
Perhaps you must have observed floating islands off the coast in certain obscure part of the world. But these 60 islands of Uros are usually special for these people manufactured out of Totora marijuana, a nearby and buoyant weed that grows within the water of Titicaca.
Visiting the Guide’s House
Helpful information ready in order to show us his home smiled from me. He was wearing a regular black trouser, great white shirt had a pocket made out there of the standard and colorful Peruvian material. He stood within front of all of us holding a hand-weaved mat. I saw duck-shaped boats, red-orange-yellow huts, flying condor, and women and men within traditional rainbow clothes busy in routines on this wonderful cloth he kept. I smiled, as well.
The guide explained the various scenes on the particular mat. We all of from different created and developing components of the world listened, stupefied.
The manuals told us that Titicaca is regarded as the birthplace of the Incas. That the particular story of the particular Uros inhabitants goes back to the particular time when the particular Uru or maybe the Uros people migrated from Amazon. The locals didn’t let them live in the towns on the banks of the lake. Unhindered, the individuals made suspended islands out associated with the reed and sailed on the particular lake to live there.
Totora Island destinations
Today, 1200 inhabitants survive the 60 Totora island destinations. Every fortnight, they collect fresh marijuana and replace the rotten weed with the bottom associated with the island with the fresh one particular.
That was the first time someone explained the significance of the lake. No one was discussing individuals stories in Puno. There the folks were busy selling food, operating hostels, telling visitors they can be their own tour guides, rushing via the streets to be somewhere, plus sending their children to school.
But on the island, the particular time had slowed down. Entertaining us, and perhaps several other motorboats, seemed to be the primary task during. Shortly, I found that collecting reed, cooking, cleansing, washing clothes, fishing, farming, and weaving cloth didn’t leave the particular islanders with much free time.
On our right side, with the blue background of the unfathomable lake and obscurely visible Andes hills behind the lake, a female sat on the reed flooring – the isle, the pavement, the particular roads, everything. She had a collection of comparable hand-woven rugs spread in front associated with her.
A fellow traveler from the ALL OF US asked her prices using the few Spanish numbers this individual knew. He informed me his Chinese language wife want 1 of those attractive sheets and purchased the largest one.
Meeting the particular Locals
We spent a couple of hours for the island. Whenever I got tired with being portion of the crowd that the little group got created, I proceeded to go to sit next to a local girl. She wearing a pink waistline jacket plus an azure skirt and was lingering on the side by herself.
It was only natural that the lady was shying far from us. It must feel weird in order to host strangers using their own opinions plus judgments into your own closest space every single day with no say. By now our Spanish was great. I had been on the country for seven months. I told the girl she looked wonderful. She smiled plus said gracias (thank you) in an accent unknown in order to me. People right now there talk both The spanish language and Quechua, an old Spanish dialect from the indigenous people. Then she was cleaning utensils. I knelt down next in order to her. Then she is at the shelter, in her kitchen, mostly quintessential dishes of copper plus steel spread close to a mud stove. I sat following to her within the reed floor. I didn’t take any kind of pictures, it was her home, after all.
Connecting with local
Then when we was released, she was a lot more amiable, less timid, and we talked. She said the girl liked the islands. That they did not have that many people there. She did go to school but then this was a vacation. They had a school on one of the particular islands. Many relatives stay together on one island, and that’s how it was.
I held her hands in my fingers and felt the particular work her fingers had done – the cooking, cleansing, rowing, reed collection, weaving, spice grounding. When the tutorial called me returning to the boat in order to leave for the particular Taquile island, the girl and am hugged and kissed sidewise on the cheeks, the way We had learned to do in South America.
After an hour’s ride, we had been on Taquile isle. It’s a green piece of land amidst the big blue pool. We got down on one finish of the island and huffed plus puffed on the particular uphill stone-paved route. We were in a height of 4000 meters after every. Soon, I showed up at a vista, from where I actually saw a big stone hut and a big outside table where just about all the guides and the tourists who got walked ahead of me were getting together.
In those deeper parts of the lake, there were no waves however the lake rippled non-stop.
The guide from Taquile stood on the edge associated with the restaurant, using the deep cerulean river behind him. Informed us that their own 2000-people community had ensured their island did not become too touristy. That’s why they did not allow night remains.
UNESCO recognized Knitting Artwork
Taquile Island, occupied given that 1970, is recognized for its man weavers around the world. He offered us a brief demonstration of their UNESCO recognized knitting artwork, explained that males weave and females make yarn. These people further sustained their particular living by selling their handicrafts, through farming and angling.
Soon he announced lunch. We all gorged on trout fished from your lake, grain, and potatoes.
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Island of Amantani
Through there we went to the island associated with Amantani where we were to stay pertaining to the night. The island was pretty small, about 9 square kilometers within size. Soon on arrival, we had been delivered to hike the Pachamama hill.
The majority of the 4000 islanders followed old customs and spoke Quechua. They referred to the mother earth as Pachamama plus prayed to the girl for his or her well-being plus safety. As water holds an exclusive symbolism in the Andean world which lake is even more exclusive for its renowned origin. The Pachamama temple in the middle of the lake was quite respected amongst the locals.
We hiked up the Pachamama slope slowly on a stone-paved path. From the peak, supporters circled the forehead a few times and offered bouquets, rice, potatoes, coca leaves. The temples associated with Pachamama can be found in a number of other parts of Peru and Chile, too.
The panoramic view from the top of hill was gorgeous, to state the least.
Next, we were taken to our own homestay with a local lady. She had been dressed in a lengthy black colored skirt and wore a black shawl over her head. The black was complemented by her extremely bright and vibrant hand-woven shirt full of pink and azure flowers. The tropical isle didn’t have electricity. So we utilized lamps to consume dinner: an easy affair of rice, taters, and local veggies.
Later our web host lady told all of us that there was obviously a local dance special event in which we all should participate. Therefore she dressed all of us up, me plus two other travelers, in traditional clothing. While the clothes of the guys were simple: ordinary black trousers, a white shirt, along with a colorful poncho. I wore the same dress because hers: a lengthy skirt with the beautiful broad belt tied in an odd way, a colorful blouse, and the scarf hanging from the head.
Then we implemented her, as she made her way through the tropical isle with a lamp plus entered a huge hall where a nearby group played songs and sang isle songs. We danced for a few hours. I just stopped when the skirt untied on its own and our host tied it back pertaining to me giggling just about all the while. The girl guided us back again and we rested under the stars.
Someone said that solar panels were soon in order to be installed in their homes.
Walking around the hawaiian islands
Per day walk will be a must on this island. Proper out of the abode house, get any mud path. You will observe that terrace gardening is done on all the hillsides of the island. People grow potatoes, whole wheat, quinoa, corn, plus other vegetables. Body fat sheep dot the hills.
The stay was beautiful and we were joyful that our money had been paid directly to the homestay. Yet the tour nevertheless felt a little bit touristy to myself. So after returning from the visit, my friend plus I searched the particular map of Titicaca, found another remote island. A tiny triangular dot to the large lake, and inquired our favorite tour guide if we could go there. She told all of us that her cousin lived on that will island.
The very next day, we had been seated within a tiny boat and were taken from the shores of Puno to a remote island by a girl who resided on the isle. We stayed at her house for 2 days. Walked round the countryside freely. Joined up with the family pertaining to a visit to another island where they left their cow in order to graze and consumed local home-grown quinoa and potatoes.
42 Islands on Lake Titicaca
There are 42 island destinations on the river spread amongst Peru and Bolivia. So a responsible method to explore the islands could be to ask the local guide or homestay people to get an island remote on the lake in which a family might be generous sufficient to host the traveler. Thus the particular local life associated with Titicaca could end up being experienced from up close inside an organic way.
The lake may also be frequented easily from the particular town of Copacabana on the Bolivia side. Copacabana’s most sought-after trip in order to the lake will be to Isla de Sol – the particular island from the sunlight. It is known to be the birthplace of the sun and celestial satellite as per Andean mythology. The South and North parts of the islands have got been fighting more than tourism and accessibility issues. So this may not be possible to go there. Yet in a regular situation, boats keep from Copacabana to Isla del Sol every day at 6 AM and one PM.
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Copacabana, the sibling town of Puno, is within itself a good place to live and see the life span around the lake. Oh, the sunsets on the lake need to not be missed.
This particular lake is one of the majority of special places in South America. Not really just because of its unique geography or the ancient culture or the rich mythology, it is special because, amidst the formidable heights and the omnipresent deeply water, individuals have nevertheless made the river their home. Making islands out associated with weed, weaving, farming potatoes at 4000-meter height, and dance beneath the stars.
Do check out the lake in case you get the chance.
What is your many special place within the world? Tell us.
Priyanka Gupta is definitely an itinerant writer through India who left her investment banking career to take a trip the planet and write. She focuses upon culturally immersive, offbeat travel. While relishing local delicacies plus never misses a chance to see wildlife. Priyanka always looks out for sustainable and local-community driven experiences.
Priyanka says, writes, and blogs full-time. In her free time, she is available running, assisting other travelers learn fundamental Spanish phrases needed to survive in gorgeous South America, or even cooking the Burmese Mohinga.
You can go through Priyanka’s best tips and travel tales on her personal growth and traveling blog On My Canvas.
Source: inditales. com