|The town of Puno is a small port on the shore of Lake Titicaca, 3800m above sea-level. For most people, it is a only a stopping point between Cusco and La Paz, in Bolivia, and as such there is little to do or to see there. However, most people take time to take a boat trip out onto the lake in order to visit the unique Islas Flotantes (floating islands). Made entirely of reeds, bound tightly together, the islands still support a population of approximately 200, although these days the tourist market is their main means of support. Being the top tourist attraction on the lake, the islands have fallen victim to over-commercialisation and an over abundance of souvenir shops!
The second attraction on the lake accessible from Puno, and of more interest to us, was the Isla Taquile. A real 6km long island with a population of around 2000. The beautiful scenery and Inca ruins, gives the place a tranquility not found elsewhere, except.........
Having booked bus tickets for our onward journey and also for a full day tour on the lake, Andrea was unfortunately hit with a stomach bug that meant that the 6 to 7 hours on a boat with limited facilities and a 4 hour hike in the altitude would no longer be a welcome proposition. Luckily, our tour company, the excellent Allways Travel, were happy to exchange the tour tickets for some more bus tickets which we had not yet purchased, and so we left a day later having not seen much but getting a sense for what the people of the area are like = fantastic.