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Peru, Travel

The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca – Peru

There is something I find a little uncomfortable at viewing people as you would animals in a zoo.  Thats a bit like how I felt visiting the floating island of Lake Titicaca.  The islands themselves are located near Puno, Peru, and the people are known as Uros and speak a language called Aymara, and no doubt Spanish.

I know the people living on the islands make their living through tourism, but to me it felt voyeuristic, particularly when not speaking the language, so it is near impossible to communicate other than through the process of buying their goods.   While I respect the need to maintain traditional cultures, you have to wonder if it would be this way without tourism – which is a double-edged sword.

The islands themselves though are pretty astonishing.  They people create the islands using layer upon layer of cut Totora reeds, that grow around the lake.  These reeds are multi-purpose as they also use them for making boats, dwellings and even eat them.

To walk on the island, it feels very much like walking on a waterbed and I was sure at any moment I would find myself disappearing through a hole into the freezing waters.  That didn’t happen but sure would have been an interesting story to tell if it had 🙂

 

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About The Sock Mistress

Slight fixation with socks. At last count, I had enough pairs of socks to last 14 weeks without having repeat a pair. IT geek by profession. Disney nut. 3rd world loan shark (http://Kiva.org ). Finds humour in the inappropriate. Holiday planner extraordinaire. Mum to doglets. Crazy Dachshund lady.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca – Peru

  1. I can’t believe the islands are made up of layers of Totora reeds. That is simply amazing! I love how colourful their clothes are. =) It’s so fun to travel to learn and see new things!

    Posted by jaanethough | February 27, 2015, 2:34 pm
  2. Wow this is pretty amazing.

    Posted by Mani (A New Life Wandering) | February 27, 2015, 6:33 pm
  3. Gorgeous photos. It really is like another world!

    Posted by Lyn | February 28, 2015, 7:40 am
  4. How long have they been there and how thick is it and do they have to keep building as the bottom layers rot and you don’t have to answer I was just wondering.

    Posted by suchled | February 28, 2015, 9:14 pm
    • I have read that their history and culture predates the Inca – so they have been there a while. And yes the islands need constant maintenance due to the reeds rotting.

      I will actually have another post coming up soon (not sure when as I haven’t written it yet) about the floating island communities in Myanmar.

      Posted by The Sock Mistress | March 1, 2015, 9:41 am
  5. What a beautiful collection of photos! It must have been an incredible experience. I just love the unique structures captured in your photos.

    Posted by Constance - Foreign Sanctuary | March 3, 2015, 3:15 am

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  1. Pingback: Floating Markets Gardens of Inle Lake, Myanmar | 14 Weeks Worth of Socks - June 19, 2015

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