Islas flotantes & Ruinas de Sillustani, Peru

Peru welcomed us in the middle of the night when we arrived at Puno by Bus. The same night we organised a short half day trip to the floating islands Uros.

The next morning at 8am it was go-time. We got picked up from the hostal and changed to a boat, where we got an introduction about the floating islands of Uros, there are 65 islands in this community and we were going to visit two of them.

The first island was relatively small and only inhabited by about 10 people. The chief of this little community showed us how those islands, boats and houses are constructed and where they get their materials from. Also we got to try the “Banana of lake Titikaka”, which is the bottom part grasses that they use for basically everything. It is called a banana because the green peel peels away like on a banana and reveils the white center part which can be eaten.

Then it was shopping time (after all these islands basically live of the tourism now) and everybody presented their handmade goods, this was also an opportunity to talk to the locals and get to know their houses. This lady told us the little shorts stories which inspired her to the stichings seen below (offerings to Pachamamá, kids going to school, women preparing meals, etc):

This was the view from the little watchtower. The island is built on the floating roots of the grass, which are then covered by dried grass. This top layer has to be renewed every 2 weeks to a month depending on the season. All in all the islands are up to 3m thick and float by themselfs.

Gab even made some new friends on the second island (this one was pretty much only a restaurant and a warft where they built their traditional ships). But unfortunatly Gab’s new friends couldn’t come with us and we had to say goodbye soon.

After lunch on the mainland we took a bycicle-taxi to the bus stop and from there a bus and a collectivo (a standard car filled with 10 people, I had to sit in the trunk and got the view out back) to the ruins of Sillustani:

All of these up to 12m high tower were funeral chambers built by the tribe of the Colla people. But the most parts were restored because they collapsed over time. This here shows how they were most likely built:

One more funny thing was the incredibly flat island on the nearby lake:


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