Kathy and Melissa's Trip of a Lifetime! travel blog

Celebrating Adrienne`s birthday in Puno

Our taxi early in the morning to the port

our wild ride thru the streets of Puno

our 3 hour boat ride to the first island

a friendly, but competitive game of Uno

the reed islands

more reed islands

up close and personal on one of the reed islands

getting ready to go for a boat ride

all of us going for a cruise on the reed boat

beautiful boats made of reed

puma headed reed boat

walking up to lunch on the first island we visited

Native inhabitants of island

view from the top of the island

resting before lunch

the group enjoying fried fish for lunch

and yes this is an actual photograph of Melissa eating fried fish

another remedy for altitude sickness

our homestay with local residents

the view from our room

Melissa standing in front of our bedroom door

the mother and second eldest daughter starting the process to prepare bread...

Melissa helping with the preparation

all of us ladies huddled around watching the locals and the males...

sun setting on the island

Melissa and I dressed up like the locals to attend the festival

all of us dancing at the festival. each song lasted 15 minutes...

all of the group dressed up for the festival

the kitchen in the home where we stayed (no electricity, no running...

Melissa eating at the kitchen table

Mother cleaning the corn to make bread for dinner

church in Copacabana where we stopped for lunch enroute to La Paz

all of us stuffed into a small bus for a two hour...

a short ferry ride and we are now in La Paz

We made it to Puno and spent one night celebrating Adrienne`s birthday. The next morning we got up very early and took bike taxis to the port where we were to board a boat for a three hour ride. The bike taxis were hysterical. They move in and out of traffic where there appears to be no regulatory signs asking for traffic to stop or yield the right of way. It`s all out with everyone honking horns to warn others what they plan to do next. Hysterical and frightening all in the same ride. Melissa and I had a near miss, but we arrived last at the harbor unscathed.

We boarded our boat and took a three hour ride to our first island on Lake Titicaca for lunch. They offered an omelette or fried chicken, that was the extent of the menu. After lunch we went for a short walk back to our boat and headed off to another island for our homestay.

Melissa and I were assigned to a family of a mother and father and their four daughters. The oldest daughter was 29 and married and leaved in another home. At the house where we stayed were the three other daughters (27, 19 photographed, and 14 year old). They spoke a little spanish so that helped, but not much. We spent the majority of the time staring at each other saying nothing. They were very nice and spent a lot of time making our dinner on a stove which required one of the daughters to keep feeding it with dry leaves. There was no electricity or running water.

That evening they dressed us all up in local attire and we made our way to the festival. They had two local bands which took turns playing songs that lasted a minimum of 15 minutes a piece. It was killer to say the least. I was exhausted after about an hour of dancing.

We got up early the next morning and headed off in our boat to the floating reed islands. Amazing!! They estimate there are about 60 reed islands with about 800 residents total. That appears to be declining every year as the young people got to Puno for an education and don`t want to return.

We spent another evening in Puno and then headed off for about 9 hours in either a bus or ferry and we have now arrived in La Paz, Bolivia for a couple of days of rest. Our tour guide, Simon, goes back home to Cusco now and we get a new tour guide for the remainder of the trip. That gives us time to get our laundry done, update our website, and rest to get ready for the next adventure.

Hope all is well at home, we are having a blast!!!

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