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 🙂