Thursday, June 25, 2015

peru // part iv

the last stop on our journey through peru was the small city of puno which is located on the shore of lake titicaca. traveling here was a bit out of the way but i had heard really amazing things about the area and i figured if we were in peru we might as well add this in. this ended up being a great way to kick off the new year and we were all really glad for the peacefulness that this lake provided. at an altitude of 12,400 feet lake titicaca is the worlds highest navigable lake. we learned that it is 131 miles long and is shared by peru and bolivia. the intensely turquoise lake is believed to be the birth place of the inca empire, as well as the cradle of the aymara indian civilization. our day out on the lake was another one of my favorite moments from the trip. we took a small boat to visit various parts of the lake including the uros islands. these islands were extremely fascinating because the uru people who live on these islands built them with bundles of dried reeds. there are roughly 42 floating islands with the larger islands housing about 10 families and the smaller ones housing 2-3 families.

after meeting the uru people and learning about their way of life we continued on our boat to another part of the island called taquille island. once we arrived at this island we embarked on what turned out to be an intense hike (mainly because of the altitude). as we approached  our destination we were greeted by a local family who had prepared an authentic lunch for us. the food was amazing, as were the views and the people. while we ate the men of the home preformed for us and the women displayed their handmade goods.  i felt really fortunate to end our time in south america with a local family who was so welcoming.
after a peaceful boat ride home we relaxed a bit before witnessing the most amazing thunder storm from our hotel room. we spent what felt like hours watching the storm off in the distance. we captured a few neat shots from the storm but i know the memory will be etched in our minds because of how intense the storm was.
 we were up and out the next morning to head back to quito for our final night in south america. peru has so much to see and explore that i wouldn't mind going back. we enjoyed learning about the land, the people and of course the local cuisine. i could have never imagined being in three south american countries in just a few years. and just when i thought i would be done exploring south america for a little while i learned that another trip to brazil was in store for me. i can't see to get enough of that continent (thanks for getting me hooked steph)!

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