Lake Titicaca - the highest navigable fresh-water lake in the world (3810m). 80 rivers run into the lake which is bordered by both Peru and Bolivia. The lake used to be salt-water but now is fresh reaching up to 280m in depth in places and has a water temperature of 10 degrees. Only 6 types of fish can be found in Lake Titicaca, 4 are only little, otherwise it's trout and kingfish....hear ends the lesson.
We took a 2 day boat cruise departing from the town of Puno (only visited as a stop-over to see the lake). A 3 hour sail took us to the island of Taquile where we walked to the town square on the top of the hill and down the other side. A truly beautiful island from where we were able to see the glaciers in Bolivia - however, slightly ruined by it's new focus on tourism.
We then sailed to Isla Amantani where we were met my our host, Ines. On both Isla Taquile and Isla Amantani the spoken language is Quchua (Aymara in all other areas surrounding the Lake) but fortunately most locals also spoke Spanish, which helped a little, but not a lot...Janine and I stayed in a room at the top of their one-up one-down house and I managed to hit my head 3 times on the extra low door. Another group were staying on the island and we coupled up to create a football team who defeated the locals at over 4000m. Apparently it is a one-off victory as the locals normally rely on altitude exhaustion setting in.
That evening after a very tasty local dish meal in Ines' smoky kitchen we were dressed up in traditional costume and taken to "dance"...luckily after 2 long songs we were allowed to leave.
Before returning to Puno we sailed through to reeds to reach the floating reed islands of Uros. People used to live on these islands made solely of reed stacked high, but now they are just a tourist attraction - a little disappointing, but good to see all the same. And the boat trip was great.
Left Peru without even a glimpse of the bear...