Puno (March 24, 2008)

Today, we slept in a bit, we are on holidays after all. We had breakfast at the hotel with a nice view on the lake. In the morning we went to visit a boat that is a musuem right now. They are restoring the boat which was built in England in 1862 and brought to Peru in 2766 pieces. The pieces were brought to the Lake by mules through the mountains!!! It is an amazing story, you really have to read about it at http://www.yavari.org . The captain, Carlos, welcomed us and gave us a tour. He is really an amazing man, very passionate. He used to be in the Peruvian Navy and is very passionate about the project. He was very inspiring. He said that whatever you do in life you should be passionate about.

After visiting the boat, we walked around the area. We had lunch a nice restaurant that was on the 3rd level and overlooked the lake.

After lunch, we took a tour of Sillustani. This town has pre-Columbian funeral towers. These towers are of the Colla tribe and most of them date from the period of Inca occupation in the 15th century. It is believed that the engineering involve in their construction was more complex than anything the Incas built. Our guide for Sillustani, Marita, was great and very passionate. She taught us a lot about the history and symbolism of Sillustani as well as the Incas. One of the many interesting things about the Incas is how they studied astronomy and how it was very important part of their lives. Many of their beliefs surrounded what they saw in the skies. At Sillustani, they built a temple for the Sun and a temple for the sun´s wife, the Moon.

After the tour, we stopped to visit a farmer. It is amazing to see how basic the farmers live. The really live off the land. They didn´t have electricity or any vehicle. They raised alpacas and lamas and had a small plot of agriculture to grow the food they eat. Many of the famers in the area eat very little meat. The animals are worth a lot more to them alive than dead as they can use the wool for weaving. They make some wool products for their own use as well to sell in order to make a bit of money. We bought a beautiful alpaca rug. Oh joy, better buy another bag as we have started picking up a fair amount of stuff. They raise guinea pigs as well. In Peru, guinea pigs are not pets but rather food. It is a delicacy for the Peruvians and they even believe that eating guinea pigs will prevent and even cure cancer. With those creditials, this is something we are definitely going to have to try! After visting the farm, we headed back into town.

Back in town, we again did a bit of shopping. Neither of us were very hungry so we had a sandwich and went to bed fairly early as we need to once again get up early to take the bus to Cusco.

Leave a Reply