Lake Titicaca, Peru

FLOATING ISLANDS OF THE UROS

If you need to put a little spring in your step, plan on visiting the unique floating islands of the Uros people, on Lake Titacaca in Peru.

Photo: Google Earth

There are forty-two floating islands, each housing two to ten families on the lake, near Puno. The islands were originally built for defense as they could easily be moved in case of a threat. Likewise, a feud with your neighbors, could result in waking up, floating on your own until you found a friendlier island neighbor "hookup". That could give separation anxiety a whole new perspective.

The islands are made from layers of totora reeds, which grow in the lake. The totora roots that support the islands, are up to two meters thick and anchored by sticks and ropes to the Lake bottom.

As the reeds rot, fresh layers are constantly added on top. The reeds are spongey, with a lot of give, causing tourists to look like drunk sailors when walking on, or sinking into the springy reedy carpet.

The reeds have many uses in addition to the construction of the islands. Boats, houses, and handicrafts are made with them. They are also a food and medicinal asset.

The resourceful Uros Islanders are excellent food hunters and gatherers. It's no big deal to steal a bird egg, fresh from the nest. Then, incubate it in the folds of their clothing next to a warm armpit, until ready to hatch. Tie it to a string and raise it. If it's a water bird, let it catch fish for you. Or simply stockpile the eggs of any other birds like the Ibis.

From what I understand, you can even sleep overnight if you wish. But that was just a little too much adventure for me. How about you? There was a lookout earlier in the tower. They'll be watching for you. Just wave and tell them, Donna sent you.

FLOATING ISLANDS Lake Titicaca, Peru

THE END Copyright.2017.DonnaKeele #timeisonmyside #floatingIslands #peru #travel #laketiticaca

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  • Skooni

    Great story, wonderfully adaptive people!I love learning how others live. Thank you!

  • TimeIsOnMySide

    Thanks Skooni! Peru is truly fascinating. I hope you gat to visit if you haven't already.

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