Puno is the city gateway to get to Lake Titicaca and this lake borders both Peru and Bolivia.. I guess I spoiled the next stop for me. This is the place with floating islands that are self made and families will make these islands to live together but when there is a dispute, they can separate the hay. The way they make the island is quite smart, they use the big 20l water bottles and wrap a type of hay/stray that is wrapped round that seems to not absorb water and keeps the islands afloat.
Standing on the islands, it wasn’t damp or perhaps there are so many layers that it doesn’t get absorbed. But these islands need to be frequently maintained.
We spent some time dressing up and purchasing items that they handmade then made our way to a homestay. The homestay was in a very traditional village where we played football with them and then they wanted to dress us up then teach us a traditional dance.
Then in the evening, we split off into different houses (in a separate building from the families but close by). The families do not speak Spanish but a for of Quechua so there was a massive language barrier. We help cook some simply traditional food and I got lost finding my way back to the bedroom as it was PITCH BLACK. The family were super lovely and it was really nice to have this experience with them to see what their everyday life is. For additional income on the side, the mother of the house makes souvenirs like knitted llamas, headbands etc so if you do buy from them, at least you know the money is going straight to them.
The homestay was only for one night so in the morning, we did some kayaking around and just chilled with the families.
For our last night in Puno, we went to a dinner and show venue called Balcones de Puno which was definitely not what I was expecting it to be.
Then we had to head back into the cities and make our way to Bolivia.