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11-13th February 2015 Colca Canyon, Lago Titicaca, Isla de los Uros - Peru

  • The Peruvians are proud to call the Colca Valley the deepest valley in the world, reaching a depth of 4,160 meters. 
  • This area is visited by many people to see the 2nd biggest bird in the world among all living flying birds, the Andean condor with a wingspan over 3 meters (1st is the wandering albatross with wingspan up to 3,4 m). The condor needs some help to keep themselves aloft and therefore these birds prefer to live in windy areas where they can glide on air currents with little effort. The Andean Condor is often travelling 250 km a day in search of food and can survive without eating 1–2 weeks long.
    The valley has a huge amount of Inca and pre-Inca agricultural terraces. 
  • On the way there were many llamas and alpacas to be seen and we were explained how to distinguish a llama from an alpaca. There are 4 species of camelids in South America, 2 domesticated: the llama and the alpaca, and 2 wild ones: vicuna+guanaco. They have 22 shades of colours from white to black. For the people living here there these animals mean life: carrying their stuff, providing meat; their skin and hair are used also to prepare cloths, handicrafts, etc. So, back to their look. The llamas has longer head, neck, ears and their tail is a bit up. The alpacas are shorter in all aspects and their tail is down. Anyway, they are all cute and seem to be very good companion animals.
  • After all soaking in the thermal bath was gorgeous and the market was also a highlight where we had dinner with friends instead of joining the expensive tour-organized meal in restaurant. It was a nice trip in total, but the Grand Canyon is more impressive...if you ever hesitate which one to visit.
  • From the Colca Canyon went straight to Puno, the capital of folklore of Peru (1st carnival of SA is in Rio, 2nd in Oruro - Bolivia, 3rd biggest is there, in Puno. I arrived on the last day of the event, so could sleep wonderfully :) ) at 3,870 m above sea level, in the shore of the Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. 
  • The city is the port and starting point to visit the floating islands. I have visited the so called Uros Islands, the home of the Uros culture where people maintained their customs and rites. They live on reeds, everything is made of reed...on the other hand they have solar energy for TV… They use packs of dried totora reeds to make reed boats and to build the islands themselves. The reeds at the bottoms of the islands rot away quickly, so new reeds needs to be added to the top constantly. An island last about thirty years long. The larger ones house about ten families, while smaller ones, like the one I visited, are only about 30 meters wide, house only two or three persons. Women live from selling their handicrafts, men go fishing and exchange fish for other type of nutrition. It is an interesting way of life, however I would feel captured living on 60 km² or even spending there a whole day.
  • Then, I took a bus to cross the border and I entered the other part of the lake, in Bolivia...Around 45 % of the lake belongs to the Bolivians, 55% to the Peruvians. I was shown the map of the lake upside down to see a puma hunting a rabbit, you can see yourself :)