Moving through the Andes Mountains, we reach Lake Titicaca. Covering 8,300 square kilometers, this lake is the highest navigable (by boat) lake in the world and the largest in South America. This lake is on the border between northern Bolivia and Southern Peru. This lake is on the far eastern side of the altiplano.
On the shore, we take our kayaks and paddle towards the Isla Amantani, the most culturally isolated island on the lake. There still is not any electricity here. We pull our boats up on the bank. After putting on our hiking shoes, we disembark on a hike to the Pachamama, the highest point for miles. From here we can see around the lake and ancient ruins on the lower island below. There is an ancient tower here, connected to a temple. Atop this, we can see amazing panoramas and soak up the sun.
Moving lower down the mountain in the cool evening, we manage to capture the Giant Frog of Titicaca. This bizarre creature weighs around 3 kilos, making it the largest frog on the planet! We let it go to hop off into the arriving darkness.
Continuing, we quickly paddle off to Isla Taquile, this island too has wonderfully preserved indigenous, Incan culture. Here we stay the night with a family. They offer us accommodations for only 3 U.S. dollars. Luckily, we made it here before dark. There are no streetlights to show the way. Tourism is strictly managed by the elders here in order to maintain original cultures and customs.
Today is market day. Our group peruses the stalls and buy some wonderful, natural, hand-made souveniers. This area is famous for their colorful textiles and alpaca wool clothing. Alpaca wool, as a side note, is amazingly soft and one of the best insulators one can find.
Tomorrow we shall move on thorugh the Andes and ascend the highest peak in South America: Aconcagua.