Thursday, March 04, 2010

Lake Titicaca

Well things seem to be taking a long long time on this computer in La Paz Bolivia that I am attempting to upload about 10 pictures onto. In that case I may have to use the addage that a thousand words are worth a picture and write sans pictures for today. If you are still with me I guess it means that you are a truley dedicated Clayhastings.com reader and don´t mind the lack of dazzling colors to titilate your senses. Anyway, we are obviously in La Paz, Bolivia and it´s pretty amazing. I´ve never seen a city quite like it. Aha! there the photos go - uh, disregard the intro to this piece, as some of the photos just went though. I´ll be adding a few here and there.

We are up in the high altiplano and we recently went to Lake Titicaca where we vistited the renouned islas Flotantes. These are made by the legendary and much touted in the tourist guides, Uros people who proved to outlast the Lakes original empire, and the incans, ...and even the Conquistadores to some degree. They are still living out there on the lake tucked away on self-built islands of Totora Reeds, fishing and catering to the whims of Tourists. Will they outlast this latest cultural invasion? Time will tell, but from the little mini tour we got on our way out to the Isla Taquile, it seems like things are going OK for these folks dispite the dozens of tour boats that land every minute. It´s easy to be cynical about ¨touristy¨ attractions and hard to see the value through the playacting etc... but
money in any form can´t be that bad when you´re sleeping in a hut that´s floating in the middle of a cold lake can it? These people seem to be taking the onslaught in stride. As if they have a choice I guess.

These photos are taken from the Isla Taquile which is where we spent a night in a sort of family-run house/hotel. They were really nice and this Island is an amazing thing to see! There are no cars and little paths run throughout the island past sheep pens and potatoe patches. It reminded me of the place Frodo Baggins lived before he had to leave. Totally fairytalesque. I will try to post more photos of this place as it was amazing. Note the angle of the clouds. In Lake titicaca it always feels like you are looking out the window of an airplane or hiking in the high sierra, but there are so many things going on up here you feel as if you have discovered another planet.
The woman who is running this shammy internet cafe just started downloading another Telenovela and my computer has slowed to nothing so I guess I´ll just try to post pictures later through a faster connection. We are really enjoying La Paz so far. The food especially and surprisingly but not surprisingly the people too! There is a lot going on here - protests, parties, tourism, and markets, markets, markets! It is like a canyon with a metropolis crammed into it. The part of the city we are staying in seems to be 50% made up of stalls and stands offering everything from Llama fetuses for Pachamama ofrendas to Solar Powered calculators. You must navigate through the mazes of tarps and comedors (lunch counters) but you don´t really mind because it´s quite fun and interesting and useful if you´re actually looking for something. Wish us luck!

7 comments:

lake titicaca said...

hey you have posted a great post the pictures are also very nice...

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