View from the hill!

View from the hill!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Highest...Everything!

Today I road a boat across the highest navigatable lake in the world.

Yesterday I ate at the highest Thai restaurant in the world.

The day before I flew into the highest airport in the world.

Notice a trend? Local Bolivianos are very proud of the fact that their city, La Paz offers visitors the highest ¨everything¨in the world!

Yesterday after checking into my night of luxury I met 2 older couples who were staying at the hotel. One of the couples was from Australia and the other England (they had come to Brazil for a relatives wedding). They were asking me what I knew about Lake Titicaca and inquiring if I thought it would be possible for them to see the lake in one day, their last day in the city. I told them about the tour company in the bottom of our hotel and they invited me to come down with them and look at the options.

So, 12 hours later I found myself in a van with Phil, Sylvia, Shelly and Seresh on my way to Pariti Island on Lake Titicaca. About an hour into our drive Phil turned around and said Ï have a question, and I cannot believe it has taken me this long to ask. Do you like Jimmy Buffett?¨I knew the rest of the day was going to be great, I was spending it with Australia´s biggest parrothead!

Along the way to Lake Titicaca we passed through some small neighborhoods, markets and lots of farm land. Boliva is a very poor contry but they have no starvation, this is because they have such advanced agricultural knowelge. Their main diet consists of quinoa, potatoes, maze, barley and other vegetables. We stopped at a little place on the Lake where the locals make the famous reed boats. Making canoes, couches, baskets and everything else imaginable out of the reeds gorwing on the base of the lake has been a way of like for many indigenous communities for hundreds of years. We got to meet the locals that make these creations, and of course buy anything we wanted. Phil (the parrothead) got talked into buying 5 llama figurines made out of reed, this seemed like something mom would end up buying. For the rest of the day he carried his heard of llama´s around, he was hysterical with them! I bought a much more practical item, a reed bread basket for Sunday dinners!

Once we arrived at the ¨port¨we boarded our boat and headed acorss the lake to Pariti Island. The tiny Island, surrouned by reed marshes, was recently in the news because of the discovery of ancient Tiwanaku ceramics. The Island is home to just over 200 indigenous Bolivians who still live a very basic life deeply in touch with nature. We wandered around the island observing the natives in their everyday life. Our tour guide, Juan, brought along his Andean flute and did an impromtu concert for us. We also toured the tiny museum which was recently constructed to showcase the many pieces of Tiwanaku´s history that have been found on the island.
After a hour boat ride back, our lunch of fresh trout and rice was waiting for us!

It was a great day with friendly people, good food and lots of sunshine!

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