A Travellerspoint blog

Floating Islands

What a fantastic idea!!!!

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We booked the trip to the floating islands or Uros Islands in the Lake Titicaca through an agency (Inka Tours) and did not expect too much since it is one of the regions top tourist attractions. However, a part from being very touristy, it was quite interesting to learn about the Uros people and their urge once to isolate themselves from the aggressive Collas and Incas. First, as a means of protection, they lived on reed boats with a little hut on top. The boats lasted for 2 to 3 years and the space they had was very restricted so they invented a technique to build islands of reed. They took the roots of the reed which they cut in squares of 1 m by 1m, they bundled them up and anchored them to the bottom of the lake. On top of this floating platform they put cut reed which formed the top layer of the floating island. After a while the cut reed got rotten so a new layer had to be applied. The Uros people keep using this technique to build their unique space of living. There live between 30 to 100 Uros people on each of the 26 islands and the bigger islands contain several “buildings” including school, post office and of course an overabundance of souvenirs shops. Today, several hundred Uros people still live on the islands and eke out a living with fishing, hunting and tourism.
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As I said, it was touristy but interesting and worth the visit.

Saludos,

Sabrina and Fredrik
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Posted by sabrinakam 21:31 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Puno

Right at the Lake Titicaca

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Puno isn’t too exciting, but it’s definitely a good departure point to explore the islands of the Lake Titicaca and its surrounding. We decided to visit the floating islands and Sillustani from here (see next reports). Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the more remote islands, like Isla Taquile or Isla Amantaní, where you can meet Quechua-speaking islanders living a life largely untrammelled by the modernities of the mainland. Anyway, we enjoyed the tours we did (see next reports). Probably the most spectacular thing that happened in Puno was that Fredrik tried a real Peruvian specialty, crispy grilled guinea pig (cuy). Hmmmmm!!!! He wasn’t too happy while he was eating it because that cute little thing was peering at him all the time. The meet was ok though; even I tried a tiny bit as a vegetarian. Fredrik forced me. However, I think it was a one time experience for both of us that doesn’t need to be repeated.
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Lots of love,

Sabrina and Fredrik

Posted by sabrinakam 21:28 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Von Cuzco nach Puno zum Titikakasee

Beeindruckende Landschaft

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In Cuzco haben wir einen Doppeldeckerbus nach Puno erwischt. Wir haben uns die besten Plätze ergattert, ganz oben und ganz vorne, wo wir die beste Aussicht hatten. Nach ein, zwei Stunden Fahrt verwandelte sich die Landschaft langsam von spitzen, hoch hinausragenden Bergen zu flachen, abgerundeten Gebirgszügen bewachsen mit dem typischen Andengrasbüscheln. Vereinzelt sahen wir kleine aus Lehm gebaute Häuschen in denen die Landbevölkerung wohnt. Etwas später stand die Sonne tief im Horizont und warf einen wunderschönen Schimmer über die weitreichende Landschaft. Herrlich!!!
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Liebe Grüsse,

Sabrina und Fredrik

Posted by sabrinakam 11:51 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Machu Picchu

The lost Inca city

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What can we say? Machu Picchu is amazing and a definite must see for every Peru visitor. It’s spectacular and awe-inspiring location, makes the Inca city so unique. It was never discovered by the Spanish conquistadors but many years later, 1911, by an American historian, Hiram Bingham, who actually was looking for another lost Inca city. The site was initially overgrown with thick vegetation and they had to work hard to clear the thick forest. Many archaeologists came to undertake studies but up and until now the knowledge of Machu Picchu remains sketchy. Some believe that the citadel was founded in the waning years of the last Incas as an attempt to preserve Inca culture or rekindle their predominance, while others think it may have already become an uninhabited, forgotten city at the time of the Spanish conquest. Recent suggestions hold that the site was a royal retreat or country palace that was abandoned when the Spanish invasion took hold of Cuzco. All coincided though that it must have been an important ceremonial centre.

As you can imagine this magical place attracts many tourists so in order to see the site with less people then 500 at a time, you have to be there early in the morning. We spent the night at Aguas Calientes and got up early at 4:30, had breakfast at 5:00 and were at the bus station at 5:15. There were already about 25 people standing in line waiting for the bus. Within 15 minutes there came about 100 more people just to give you an idea about the flow of tourists. We were lucky and got on the second bus and at 6:00 we were at the Inca city. It was still a bit dark but we could already see the shapes and contours of the ruins. The site was covered with a beautiful ghastly morning mist which disappeared after an hour or two. After having taking the first pictures of the mighty city, we went for a short scenic walk (20 minutes) through some cloud forest vegetation to see the Inca drawbridge which lies on the other side of the ruins. The passage of the bridge was prohibited though since some years ago someone fell of the bridge to his death.
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We went back to the ruins, crossed the site, took more photos and headed for the registration booth for the Huayna Picchu ascent.
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Huayna Picchu is a steep mountain at the back of the Machu Picchu ruins from where you have a spectacular view of the Inca city. The ascent is quite exhausting, but if you go at your own pace it is not a problem to get up there. And, the views are breathtaking! See for yourself….
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At 11.00 we were back in Aguas Calientes ready for a big lunch. We spent another night in the Machu Picchu Pueblo and left by train the next morning at 5:45 heading for Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo we took a bus to Cuzco and from Cuzco we took another bus to Puno, at Lake Titicaca, where we are right now.
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Bye for now, amigos.

Love,

Sabrina and Fredrik

Posted by sabrinakam 17:02 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

The Sacred Valley

Pisac and Ollantaytambo

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On our way to Aguas Calientes, where we spent the night for our Machu Picchu visit, we traveled through the Sacred Valley and we visited two Inca sites, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. See yourself, how it was...

Pisac:
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Ollantaytambo:
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Lots of love,

Sabrina and Fredrik

Posted by sabrinakam 13:49 Archived in Peru Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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