100's and 100's of Wilson's Phalarope were feeding on Lake Titicaca At 3812 mts, it is the highest lake in world with a shore length of 699 miles on the border of Peru and Bolivia!
So from Cusco, we made the ten hour bus ride on the Bolivian Hop and arrived in Puno at about 07.30. The double-decker is a 100 times better than National Express over in the UK! We had booked a tour to go on a barge on Lake Titicaca to meet the indigenous people (Uros) who live out on the 42 floating islands hiding in the reeds. The tour included breakfast with very loud rock music! The speakers were shaking but the tour leader must of been def because he turned it up! After taking cotton wool out my ears, we made our ways onto the boat with another ten punters. Here we were told about the lake and the tribe that live on it. I noticed that a few of the tour fell asleep but when it was all over we were allowed on top to look over at the lake while we were closing in on the islands.
On one of the islands we had a very warm welcome by the locals and then we had a talk about the way the tribe lives and how the man-made islands work. We were allowed to see how they live in their homes and I was surprised to see a TV, a very old one, in the corner of the hut. Two hours of electricity is how long it can last in one go all run on solar power. We were all asked for 10 sols each (2.50) if we would like to go on one of their transitional boats to another island. Anna and I were the only ones that took up the offer and in the twenty minute crossing, two little girls came up to us and started singing. When we got to other side, for 1 sol we could have are passport stamped!
Returning to Puno, we observed 100's and 100's, if not 1000's of Wilson's Phalarope spinning around on the lake
The Uros tribe welcome us as we arrive on their floating Island
Inside one of the thatched houses where they live
In all there are up to 60 self-fashioned floating Islands made from reeds (totora) on the western side corner of the lake and every week different islands play football against each other. It must be a drag fishing out the football from the lake all the time. I guess it's a bit like the old Shrewsbury ground, Gay Meadow, when they had to go and net the football from the River Seven.
Two Uros girls from the floating islands came up to join us as we were rowed to another island and they started singing for us in Spanish. It was so sweet and they sang five songs.
Looking towards the city of Puno
100's if not 1000's of Wilson's Phalarope spinning around on the lake
The following morning I made the twenty minute walk from our digs to the Titicaca. There was a small boating lake cut off from the main lake and here it was covered in birds. I spent a good two hours in the area and some of the birds included Stilt sandpiper, Puna Ibis, Chilean Flamingo, Yellow-billed Pintail, Speckled Teal, Andean and Brown-bellied Swallow.
Pair of Andean Ruddy Duck
Pair of Cinnamon Teal
In the center of Puna
I've been into Ben Harper since he first came on the music scene some 25 years ago! This man is class and here he's doing a cracking version of his own song 'Jah Work' as a tribute to Lewis Marnell. A professional skateboarder.