DAY 6: TITICACA LAKE
I clearly remember the first time I heard about Lake Titicaca. My 11 years old self sitting down in school in my small town back in El Salvador. I giggled when I heard its name and my classmates made jokes about it. Back then, I never imagined that I could have the possibility to see it with my own eyes. Now, we’re just a few blocks away from the highest navigable body of water in the world: Lake Titicaca.
The night before we ventured out of our hotel looking for dinner. The hotel is about 3 blocks south of a pedestrian street full of restaurants, coffee and souvenirs shops. While we were having dinner in one of the restaurant, the employees quickly closed the doors. A non-violent protest against one presidential candidate was happening outside. A Presidential election was happening soon.
At the hotel we booked a whole day trip to Uros and Taquile Island for the bargain price of $20 each with lunch included!! We boarded our boat at 8:30am and we’re on our way to the first stop: Uros Islands. These islands are artificially made using the reeds that grow in shallow areas of the lake. The Uros people made these islands to escape the Incas. Recently, the government have provided the inhabitants with solar panels so that they can have electricity. It’s pretty interesting to visit these islands and learn how the Uros construct them. A boat ride in the beautiful reed boats was in order.
After a two hour boat ride we arrived at Taquile island. From here, we can appreciate the snow covered mountains on the Bolivian side of Lake Titcaca. In order to get to Taquile’s city center we have to hiked for 40 minutes. The views of Titicaca are amazing, it is bigger than anybody can imagine. After another 20 minutes hiking, we get to have lunch with a breathtaking view. The inhabitants of Taquile are famous for their high quality handwoven textiles.
As we depart Taquile, we noticed that there are Incan terraces built on the island. It is incredible that the Incan came to such remote places to build terraces. I wish we could stay in the island longer there’s a certain peace even tough oxygen is scarce.
DAY 7: PUNO
On the seventh day one shall rest. We were told that on the second day the strike was going to be worse. It was a non violent strike. All businesses were closed down tough, and no transportation was going in or out of the city…we were trapped, but we decided to use this time to relax and rest. After breakfast in our hotel, we went back to our room. At around noon time, we went out to see how the protests were going in the Plaza de Armas (city center). The strike was to protest the broken promises of the exiting president. He promised the residents of Puno to combat contamination of rivers and the lake Titicaca, he also promised to build a water treatment plant. Nothing happened but I think this strike came about too late. It should’ve happened one year ago, now the current president is leaving and he could care less about his broken promises. They were successful at paralyzing the entire city, but no national news outlet was covering the protests or the strike.