Puno and the Uros Islands

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After possibly one of the easiest border crossings we walked over the border and into Peru. Before we got back on the bus we saw the most futuristic looking tuk-tuks! Bearing in mind we hadn’t seen tuk-tuks since we left SEAsia, it was a novelty in itself. But the fact that they look like something from a bad 80’s space movie, it made them even more entertaining.

We arrived into Puno and got a bubble version of the tuk-tuks to our hostel. After knocking on the door for 30 minutes, the very stoned looking owner answered the door, realised our booking hadn’t been noticed and therefore we didn’t have a room. Not a great start. In the end, after a very confusing Spanglish conversation we ended up with a room. And it was the best room we had had in a loooong time! For starters it had an electric heater, the first room we have had one in, although we have needed one since we landed in Santiago, hot water and a TV. We were living in pure luxury! Things were looking up.

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We had a quick look around Puno to try and find a barrato Almuerzo (cheap lunch) and we did! We were very happy, we then returned to the hostel to book a trip for the next morning to the Uros Islands. Again, after a very confusing conversation, we think we had a trip booked. We were not 100% but pretty sure we had booked it.

The next morning we were up at 6am for a great brekkie before being picked up at 6:50 ready for our trip to the Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca. We took a quick boat ride to the first island. The amazing thing about these islands, and why everyone wants to see them is because they are completely made from reeds. The islands are made from reeds, the houses, churches, schools, look out towers and their boats are all made from reeds (apart from their speed boats partially hidden from sight!) These islands are Pre-Incan so originally the Uru people spoke neither Spanish nor Quechuan. Now, they need to so that they can trade with the main land and for tourism also.

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The islands are obviously impressive, as are the people who build and live on them. Most people never leave the islands unless they need to trade or for the older children to attend high school or college. We had a great morning here, and then we got back on the boat for a 2-3 hour very choppy boat ride to another island.

The ride was not worth it at all. Upon reflection we would have just visited the floating islands and not bothered with the other one as we literally had a long horrible sea sickness inducing journey for an expensive lunch. Not worth it.

We stayed in Puno for a couple of days, visited a museum and ate in cheap places before moving onto Cusco.

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