I have to admit that I knew where Peru was in the world but nothing really about it. So when I booked to volunteer here I had to google and ask people what were the best trips. The inca trail my dad suggested, the amazon I wanted to do, then when speaking to other volunteers most were visiting lake titikaka. I’d heard it mentioned in an Ab Fab episode once!! But thought if best go see it whilst here. My final excursion of the trip. Can’t believe I’ve had just one full day back at the orphanage before heading off again. But I leave sat night and nothing really happens on Sundays. Short trip just 2 days. Another night bus, but when i get on I’m downstairs in the ‘posh’ section. Result. Less noisy and chavy!! Don’t think the seats are any bigger but got fairly comfy! No Spanish movie this time but I’m tired so no distraction for me!
There’s a devil child got on. He looks like an adult in a child’s body and with a murderous glare. He refuses to do anything his family ask, screaming! Oh joy! Had brought my iPad to entertain me but as it’s 10.30 and I’m knackered from last night I just put music on and sleep. Nutter boy sleeps so no issues thankfully. Arrive at a stop but not everyone gets off. No idea where we are! Ask someone and yes we are at Puno, so off I get. Hoping there is someone with my name on a board.
Well there’s a sign saying Zamantha, close enough! Head to toilet first, not the cleanest but still better than a hole in the ground! Get taken to office and then told come back in 2 hours. Always fun! So head off to order breakfast and chill.
No wifi but Internet cafe to pass the time, do the obligatory check in on Facebook! Don’t see any English speaking around?? Be a test for my Spanish! Guide meets us again and off we head to mini bus. Drives us maybe 3 mins to the boat. I could of walked that! In the group there’s Argentinians x 3, Americans x2, a family of 5 from Paris, Israel x 2, a couple one who’s Australian and her boyfriend is Argentinian, an American couple from Pennsylvania, French dude and me.
At least I’m not the only single traveller. Bit lonely as about 6 of them must know each other from their travels. Sleep most of boat ride to our first stop. Blooming knackered. We stop at a traditional reed island. 10 families on it and it’s tiny. Looks very touristy as they have their hand made items out. And men quickly put on traditional clothing over their probable normal clothes. Interesting though, learn how they make island, houses and boats. We are shown 5 fish they catch. Then into a house. The one we went in is just 1 bed for family of 4. Seems damp as well but it’s their home. No idea where the toilet is though! We look at their gifts. I buy a bracelet but not embroidery as quite expensive for something I don’t need! We get taken out on a traditional boat. Costs us £2.50 so can’t be bad. Although they said its romantic, if you call sharing a boat with 12 people romantics then here we go! Americans and family dad don’t bother. Water really shallow, maybe only about 1 metre deep. Quite peaceful though, well apart from various languages being spoken. Head back to boat to then ride to overnight spot. Sit on deck to see views. Unfortunately the single man is a bit scrawny, smokes and has the scruffiest pair of shoes! You can tell a lot about a person from their shoes, so no romance on the cards. Lol. When we get to island we see children swimming. One has made a float out of empty bottles so he can be more confident. Great! Love their attitudes out here to just find solutions and have fun! Israeli girls struggle to walk up a few steep steps. They’d never cope with the inka trail! We are split off to our host families. Guess who I’m with?? Yes single man. We get put in a room together OMG, but fortunately probably from my shocked facial expression she realises we aren’t together and offers me another room. Not that is mattered but nice to have own space and I have an awesome view of lake! Smells like my nans house used to, musty, olds worldly quite nice so far! I’d never cope in Peru without major head injury. Doors are just above my shoulder height!
Lunch for two!! We were called at 3pm for lunch just as I’d dozed off. Into the little kitchen. Lovely soup and veg and rice cooked in a clay built oven fuelled by fire. We meet some of her children, she has the cutest two girls dressed in lovely dresses, and with the cutest smiles. Lovely to see them happy with so little in the way of material items.
Straight off to trek to the religious building, pre incas. Not that this was a trek after the inca trail! Learnt some interesting facts such as this island was inca land and terraces built by them but land too dry for much farming. Men have to head off to main land to get work for a third of the year but that’s why they have modern clothing. Women stay at home. Also that a woman will knit a colourful hat and give to the man she accepts to marry and the husband embroiders the wonderful blouse for his wife! Such simple things hey! Well the knitting etc isn’t simple but you know what I mean!
The walk was an hour and a half as we kept stopping to learn facts and there’s the slowest girl in our group in her 2 inch wedges! Who brings them on a 2 day island tour! Argentinians that’s who!
At the top you can walk anti clockwise three times and make three wishes. Worth a try. Beautiful up there. You can see Bolivia and it’s snow capped mountains.
Walk down was very quick although my idiot French house mate decided he knew the way and started getting us lost. Then back on track he just rushed off, crazy! I chatted to most of the group. The French lady met her Peruvian husband in Paris. The oz girl and Argentinian met in Oz but are visiting his family whilst here. The American couple, the man was ill in bed, come from Pennsylvania. Another random mix of people on a tour but lovely to meet! Saw sunset over the other island and a storm brewing, doesn’t look like it’s coming this way.
When we returned we had some free time before dinner. Met loads of the family at dinner. The men had been at work. French idiot can hold a conversation in Spanish and I understood over half of their conversation so quite pleased! The men and us guests had cutlery, the woman and children had to use their fingers to eat. I also noticed they got the best china out for us. So lovely.
In the evening it’s fiesta time. The lady of the house went and got our outfits and dressed me there and then. So my jeans and hoodie really set off the dress! Like a corset round the waste on a full stomach! The men don’t come out as they get up at 4am to work. Hard life here.
Off we went in the dark to the fiesta and it was all good fun. The dancing is just going in a circle wiggling you hips and shoulders. Easy hey! Well guess who fell flat on the floor, yes me and onto two young boys. Oops!
Getting fed up with the toilets now though. Another need to squat or sit in mank toilet and flush is a bucket of water and jug!
Not a late one, back by 10 but in need of a good nights sleep.
Had a good nights sleep even though it poured down all night. Packed up and headed down for breakfast. The host lady was selling bits to us before we left. No idea what they were, looked like Christmas tree decorations at first but they’re not. Bought the biggest one anyway, bless her!
Boat ride over to another island. Clearly a wealthier island as more houses, more touristy. Music blaring from a few houses ruining the peacefulness. Locals all dressed up as we passed them.
Had free time at the market but clothes quite expensive and I have little cash left. Wish I’d brought more money on the trip as credit cards are useless in this part of the country! Cash is the way to go unlike us British! Learnt that you can tell if a man is single or married by his hat colour. Red is married, red and white single. Black round hat on top is authority! Shall we try this in the UK??
Not much to do really just enjoy scenery. We walked to Lunch at 11.15! Bit early but stunning views.
Lots of the group were moody as lunch not included and would not pay £5 for lunch with a view. Israelis particularly moody! £5 really!
Munia tea is my new drink out here, quite nice and made with a herb. Supposed to help you get energy, hope it’s not code for drugs!
Weirdest behaviour, the Germans asked anyone with food left if they could eat their leftovers! Cheap food I suppose but slightly chavyish.
Our guide was so unfit. Kept having to stop to catch his breath. Lucky he’s not a porter.
Have decided my image of Israeli people is wrong. Not sure what I think they look like but not South American looking as the girls on the trip are. Weird how you have precautions of people without reason!
The trip is nearing its end. Boat ride back to Peru is 3 hours, very slow boat but nice to take in scenery. Arrive at 4 so have 5 hours spare. Money running out but try credit card, fail!! Bummer. On a budget then. Manage some Internet cafe, sandwich and drink for dinner, water and snacks for journey and toilet. Then realise I need to pay travel tax and don’t have any money. Panicking! Ask bus company for the equivalent if 5p but he shrugs me off!! Panicking more, search pockets and finally find just the right amount!
On bus and time to sleep! Had a lovely 2 days, would have been more fun with a group as have felt left out a bit at times but amazing to see the islands and hear the histories.