After a great filling breakfast, it was time to say some farewells and head back to the boat for the next island. It took just over an hour to get to Taquile, at which point, there was more uphill hiking and beautiful views, before arriving at the main square.
The group guide, Walter, explained the local dress and courting activities of the local people. Life appears to be very simple with the constant use of the phrases ‘at 16 to 18, they fall in love. They fall in love and they get married’. Falling in love is initiated by the boy throwing small stones at the girl to show interest, at which point if she likes him, they’ll get married; what a concept for me, coming from the western world. It’s expensive to buy anything on the island, with prices being three or four times more expensive than anywhere else. Walter explained that it’s the best quality and that the money goes directly to the people on the island. I’m not one for trinkets, especially grossly expensive ones.
A short walk from the main square was the luchtime restaurant. A great dinner of fried fish was devoured and a cold coke purchased. Good timing to chat to some of the other travellers and check out where people are from and/or going to. All downhill after lunch, to the other side of island and a re-uniting with the tour boat. It was a long 2.5 hour boat ride back to Puno, with the Uros islands faint in the distance. You can’t get away from the Sun here and any travel seems to roll really slowly.
After a brief transfer back at shore, we were in the familiar walls of the Qelqatani hotel, and our backpacks, awaiting collection. Knowing the disaster that the dining experience in the hotel was, it was time to hit up a local restaurant after freshening up, where I finally got to try the Alpaca. Not sure what the fuss is all about, as it’s similar to sirloin steak and doesn’t hold a very strong flavour.
Time to crash now, as it’s an early start for the tour bus to Cusco tomorrow.