Islas Los Uros and Isla Tequile – Tuesday and Wednesday October 25-26, 2016

Tuesday morning we left at 7 am for the trip  to Islas Los Uros and Isla Tequile in Lake Titicaca. 

Our first stop after about a 30 minute boat ride was one of the Uros Islands. There about 100 of these floating islands constructed of reeds. Four to ten families live on each island. We got a demonstration of how the islands are built. I also got to try on some local clothes. 

The reeds used to build the islands are highly buoyant.  The white bottom part of the reeds is edible and apparently contains fluoride which means the Uros people who live on the islands have very good teeth. 

We bought some embroidered cushion covers and had fun exploring the island. The ground felt kind of squishy when you walked. 

Next our boat took us another two and a quarter hours to Taquile Island. Everyone else on the boat was on the island for about an hour but we had decided to spend the night in a home stay. Duke stayed here on his last trip and remembered it fondly. The island has about 2,500 residents and there are no cars or other motorized vehicles. It is a beautiful peaceful spot. We had to climb up over 500 stone steps to get to the main square where the people in the restaurant arranged a family for us to stay with. 

Staying with Silvano and his family was a wonderful experience.  He visited the U.S. five years ago as part of a group promoting indigenous crafts. We enjoyed a great dinner and conversation about life on the island. His two boys played chess while we talked. 

This morning Silvano’s wife showed us how she weaves textiles. On Tequile the women weave and the men knit. Silvano and his wife showed us some of their work. 

Duke has received some comments about his new hat looking a bit battered so he decided to do an upgrade with a woven hat band. 

Tequile has wonderful flagstone paved paths. We spent time both yesterday and today exploring the island. Everyone was friendly. These kids asked to have their picture taken.