June 27, 2008
6.27.08 It’s A Small World
We got up at 6 am this morning and quickly got dressed. Weather-wise, this island is amazing! The days are warm with a light, cool breeze, but the nights are freezing! Our guide told us that it might snow last night, but luckily it just got cold. We each had a ton of blankets on our bed and joked that it was like sleeping under the dental blanket they use when they take x-rays.
Our host family was up bright and early and had nothing but smiles for us. I wish I could stay longer and really get to know the people in this community. Everyone seems very kind, gentle and soft-spoken, and it would be very easy for me to dive into a glowing description of their lives and personalities. The truth is, though, all I know of them is what I have seen in the last 24 hours. They are a tight-knit community with old-fashioned, traditional values. They seem to laugh easily and smile a lot. And they treated us very, very well. Staying on this island with our host family was definitely one of the highlights of my trip!
After a breakfast of crepe-like pancakes and hot muna tea, we gathered our things, exchanged kisses all around and headed back down to the port. This mornings activity is sea kayaking, and I know you are tired of hearing it, but I am still too sick to kayak. So, it is another lazy morning on the boat, relaxing to the swells of Lake Titicaca. Ahhh, life is hard.
After a nice long nap, we arrived at our lunch destination… a floating island! There are a whole bunch of these islands that are made of reeds. We are in the middle of a National Preserve which looks like fields of grain as far as the eye can see. Except, the “grain” is reeds and all of this is in Lake Titicaca. So imagine taking a whole bunch of reeds….a serious whole bunch.. and building an island on them! Each island houses about 5 families, and the kids row across the water to a school building each day. Everything is made of reeds… their homes, boats, beds, chairs, etc. It is very neat looking, but does look a bit like Disney World. So, humming “It’s A Small World” under our breaths, we jumped off of the boat onto the island. It feels like we are walking on a big, straw mattress, and all I can think about is what happens if you fall off?!
We had lunch in a reed hut, sitting on big rolls of reeds and it was great. Soup, fish, quinoa and hot tea…I was really impressed! After lunch, they took us on a reed-boat ride between the islands before putting us back on our big boat one final time.
An hour later and we are back at the hotel for one last night. I am loving this trip, but I am ready to come home, so packing everything up feels really good. One final drink with Deb and our last group dinner is all that stands between me and the trip home. Have I mentioned that life is great?
Anna aka Mud Butt