So we are back in Puno now (which is located on the shores of lake Titicaca) after leaving yesterday morning for our homestay. We are both felling 100% on what we have been and hopefully the worst is behind us. We still need to be a little careful with our stomachs as they are still a little tender, but generally much better than they have been over the past 3-4 days. Leaving the hotel yasterday we caught the local limo service - bicycle taxi's. This was quite a ride with a dozen of us heading of in these peddle powered vehciles, and our drivers all competing to get us to the port first.
At the port we all jumped onto a local ferry which had been hired for us. The ferry left the port of Puno and headed out into Lake Titicaca. Close to Puno the water is covered in heaps of green algie, apparently cuased from the polution of Puno city. Lucky, the area is encircled by reids which trap most of the polluted water and keep the rest of Lake Titicaca fresh and cleen.
Our first stop was about 40mins from Puno on one of the floating read islands of the Uros. We stoped at one of the smaller islands, which hosts around 5 families. There we had time to look around and take a plesant ride on one of the reid boats with the children of the island, who sung us songs, and showed us how to eat the reids (basically you pull the reid out, take the bottom stork which is which, strip the skin off it, and begin chewing - it had no real flavour, but I wasn't too keen on swallowing it as it had just come out of the lake!).
From the Uros island we continued on the ferry for about another hour until we got to our homestay community in Llachon (pronounced yachon). This was a lovley little community and very friendly people. Our host family, Jesus and Candelara where great. They had three children, one girl 10, and two boys 9 and 7.
The children were a little shy to begin with, but soon came out of their shells and entertained us for the afternoon.
On arriving we went with our host families for lunch, which consited of a lovley vegitable broth (containing potato, broad beens, onion, and carrot). This was followed by some fried home made cheese, boiled potatos, broad beens, and yams. While it was all very delisious, our stomachs could only handle so much - so the soup was the highlight, being very simple.
In the late afternoon we helped the families put nets out in lake titicaca to catch fish for breakfast. After fishing, we returned to our homes and were provided with traditional clothes to dress up in for dinner.
For dinner, we all met in the community house (in full traditional dress) and were treated to corn soup (which was good), followed by some pasta and rice (which was too heavy for us so we passed it up). After dinner a local music group perfomed - these guys were just learning, and this was somewhat obvious, but they put on a reasonable show anyway.
Breakfast this morning consisted of two types of bread rolls - the hollow type we seem to be encountering everywhere, and one that was a little sweeter and resembled a fried scone. This was then followed by a pancake, and finally fried fish (resembling white bait) and boiled potatos. I think Laura was happy to see the pancake, and the fried white bait was quite tasty.
We left our homestay families straight after breakfast and got back on the ferry to head to Taquile island, where we climbed the steep path to the top to see the awsome view - you could see the snow capped mountains in Bolivia from here (Peru and Bolivia share lake titicaca 60-40).
Finally a slow trip home back to Puno, where we are staying for tonight. Tommorrow we are off to Cuzco, which I think most of us are looking forward to - although it will be a 7-8 hour bus ride!
I think we are looking forward to Cuzco for number of reasons - it at a lower altitude, so things should be a little simpler, we are there for 3 days, so we can relax a little, and its meant to be a very beautiful city - so we cant wait.
We have tons of photos from the last week, but unfortunatly haven't had access to a compter that will easily allow us to upload them. I might try to find another place later tonight, or prohaps in Cuzco.
Also please forgive the bad spelling. The keyboards over here are setup for european languages, and often the letters on the keys have been rubbed out, etc, making the job all that more difficult.