Lake Titicaca aka Lake TitiCarly

18th February:
‘It’s a lake. The end’. Is what I was going to write for this blog before I went to Lake Titicaca. I was wrong and pleasantly surprised by the magic of it. I already knew it was the largest lake in South America and the highest lake in the world (12,500ft), but I wasn’t expecting to admire the craftsmanship and engineering that it takes to make the Floating Islands work. I’d never thought about it. There are 87 individual islands where there is thick, deep soil and then on top of that they layer bamboo sticks, alternating the direction of them, so it almost has a weaved effect. They put new shoots down every day or week? They put new shoots under the houses every year. This means that they pick the house up and lay down the new foundations. Also, they move the houses when it is winter to face the other way. Really quite amazing. The biggest fish in the lake are Trout and Kingfish. Kingfish comes from Argentina, apparently. I remember when Glenn bought some ingredients, Kingfish being one of them and let me play ‘Ready, Steady Cook’. Made a delicious soba noodle soup. Mmm! One thing, I didn’t see very many men on the islands. Whether they go back to the mainland to work, I didn’t find out. I will. The women wear bright, bright skirts and jackets and wave at tourists going by on boats to entice them to their island so that they can try to sell souvenirs that they have made. I bought two ridiculous cushion covers for 70 soles which is just over £12. When I was booking my hostel there was an option to stay on one of the islands and I was tempted but didn’t and so far that’s my only regret. I think it would have been an amazing experience. Next time. Locals say that if you turn a map of Lake Titicaca upside down it looks like a Puma is catching a Rabbit. Our guide said they’d been drinking too much Coca Tea. Peru is really, really beautiful and I’m glad of my time here. I’m onto Arequipa next but I’m just going to catch another bus to Tacna and then another bus to Arica, Chile. I might need to stay there for day as I’ll have travelled a lot and there’s a beach… I get so distracted by beaches.

‘You have really good English’, someone said to me.
‘Thanks. I’m from England’.
I’m from England and it was only ‘really good’, not amazing, as hoped they might have said. I got a B in English Language, I’ll have you know.

So I’m starting my three destinations trip in hopefully fewer days, right now! Because I want to pay for the best transport I’m sacrificing with my eating. I’ve just ordered a bowl of mushroom soup and a coca tea. The bowl is massive and it’s really tasty! This also is me trying to go back to veggie until I’m in Argentina where I will have some beautiful steak. I also need (not really) to try Cuy which is Guinea Pig.. I’ve put it off all this time but feel like I should try it. Just so I can say that I have and let you all know. This might be a never ending bowl of soup… And for 8 soles, which is just over £1.50, you can’t go wrong.

Juliaca, a small town slightly north of Puno has to have the worse roads I’ve ever come across. They’re not even roads. The bus somehow fights it’s way through, swaying left and right like a boxer avoid a hit. How it doesn’t tip over is beyond me.

Movie time on the bus and I’m relieved that we have shared screens so I’m not conscious of being judge of my film choice. First movie is ‘The Intern’ where Robert De Niro is Anne Hathaway’s senior citizen intern as part of a new scheme her company are doing. It’s a really good film. Heart warming. Then they choose ‘Martian’ with Matt Damon. Wow! What a clever film. If you haven’t seen it, he manages to grow potatoes on Mars. Which I have to say, I think any Irish person could do (LOL). He ends up being stranded there for something silly like 600 days. It’s really good. Had my full attention, which is no easy task. I’m tired now but I can’t sleep.

I’ve arrived in Arequipa. I’m tired and grumpy. Taxi driver didn’t have a clue. I had to direct him. The internet is shit and my bus isn’t until 10pm tomorrow night, arriving in Tacna at 4am. I hate those ones but will find out tomorrow what time the connecting bus to Arica in Chile is. FUUUUUCCCCCCKK! Just slammed the window on my finger. Right, I’m going to sleep before anything else bad can happen. Buenos fucking noches. Oh wait, one more stupid thing. I have a real problem with not being able to sleep if I don’t have any lip balm. Well I have lost mine and my lips are sore and needed some moisture. DO NOT THINK IT’S OK TO USE YOUR DOVE BODY STICK DEODORANT AS A SUBSTITUTE. IT IS NOT! (Don’t worry I used the side bit that hadn’t been in contact with my armpit – Sorry Nan). Goodbye x

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