When you come from London, a city eleven meters above sea level, it seems pretty incomprehensible to be sailing across a lake at an altitude of nearly 4,000 meters. So crossing Lake Titicaca from Bolivia to Peru it was hard for me to believe that we were 3,810 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level. Especially when the snow capped Andes mountains were towering over me.
Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable body of water and the largest freshwater lake in South America. Thought to be three million years old, Lake Titicaca is one of less than twenty ancient lakes on earth.
The Mad Cat Headed Boat
I was excited enough to be travelling around South America and crossing Lake Titicaca but it was the mode of transport which I was to use which interested me the most. The bizarre and rather quirky mad cat headed boat.
These bonkers looking boats are made from totora reeds, as are the artificial Islands which are scattered across lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca has 41 islands, including the famous floating reeds islands. The man-made floating islands were built by the Uru people, so they could move them if they were threatened by hostile invaders.
ISLA DEL SOL – A SACRED IsLAND
Among the Uros islands, two are especially important, as those were considered to be sacred places: the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) and the Isla de la Luna (Island of the Moon). These islands were sacred not only for the Uros cultures, but the Chiripa, the Inca and Tiwanaku civilizations too.
Along with a small group tourists, I was travelling across the lake from Copacabana in Bolivia to Puno in Peru, stopping for a night on the sacred Isla del Sol.
The Incas believed the Isla del Sol was the birthplace of the Sun God, who had sent to Earth the first Incas in the shape of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo (an Incan version of Adam & Eve).
Staying on The Uros Islands
After leaving Copacabana in the aforementioned cat boat we stopped at some of reed islands. Then headed to the Isla del Sol were we
On the Isla del Sol, we stayed at a small family run hostel. We visited a local school and playing in a football match with some of the locals. My time on the island was spent visiting a local school, playing in a football match with the locals and watching an amazing sunset across Lake Titicaca
The amazing sunset over Lake Titicaca from the Island of Sun.