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Kamisaraki - welcome to floating islands Uros

Added: July 11, 2010

Tags: Peru RTW SouthAmerica lake photos
I forgot what exactly Kamisaraki means, but it is some kind of greeting in Aymara, used at floating islands Uros, Lake Titicaca, Peru.

On 14th of February 2010 we boarded a bus from Copacabana, Bolivia to Puno, Peru. Driver gave us Peruvian customs declaration forms and asked to check NO everywhere, because he did not want to unload baggages unnecessarily. He collected the forms later, so that we could save time by processing them at once (if at all). He also suggested we should not exchange money at Bolivian side or in a buffet. He will tell us where is good money exchange office.

Life at Uros Islands

Uros is amazing! I was satisfied I got enough of nice photos, but still something was missing. Fortunately Zuzka had a good idea (independently from my thoughts). Let's go again!

So when we arrived to Puno we went to find another trip. We did not want to risk going to the same islands so we looked for other operator. Plus we needed to find a bus to Cuzco for tomorrow. We knew our chance will be smaller in the evening so we started ask here and now.

It would help us to speak Spanish, but fortunately when we gave up a guy able to speak English came. We bought Uros cruise for 25 Sol (entry fee included) and this time we got English speaking guide.

The guy also offered us a bus to Cuzco for $35 (Inka Express) with several stops to take photos. It was more expensive than I hoped for, but we did not have luxury of choice. He said he will wait us when we return to handle it.

Then he escorted us to empty boat saying it will depart in 5 minutes. But only couple of minutes later he returned back and took us to other (full) boat. I guess we would wait for quite long time in the first one.

Back to Uros

We sat inside of boat and listened commentary. Finally it was useful to us. No need to take the same photos again, even light was better now.

Sun was lower, sometimes hidden behind clouds, it all made very good illumination. To our pleasure the boat turned right inside Uros "lagoon" and we headed to the end.

People living on our island were much nicer and more cute. They seemed warmer. They greeted everybody with Kamisaraki greeting. We sat down and commentary began. It was all new to us, because we did not understand much on previous island. I think it was also more thorough, because we were shown piece of reed root system, how compact, but light it is - no wonder islands can float on it.

Then the sun peeked out. Despite of interesting commentary I needed to catch some attractive photons.

Colourful dresses of local women.

What would Däniken say about that?

Our guide is ready to explain everything about this place. Notice the building blocks from reed root system.

Traditional and new houses.

Model of this island.

That will be our transport. This time the fee is 10 Sol to local family operating it.

Detail of reed floating on water.

We sat on this more expensive boat, women sang several songs (in Aymara, English and Spanish), people cheered them for it and we could go.

We arrived to our final island. It was cloudy again and it started to rain shortly after our arrival so we left back to Puno.

I did not want to eat (it was not possible on this island, I guess) so I was completely satisfied with our decision to go for the 2nd trip here. I got exactly those photos I missed in previous visit :-)

This is detail of house.

And this shows how they lock them.


And finally a panorama of one of the islands. It was taken earlier, but I wanted to show it at the 2nd page - to reward those who will click on link to the 2nd page :-)
Panorama of Uros island

Eating at Uros

I like to take photos of nice dishes. Unfortunately I did not take one of trout we ate before, because (as usually) I realized too late I should.

As the second best option I can offer couple of photos of other types of meals local people eat. This time it was not ready to eat, so my usually slow shooting reflexes got their chance.

Let's start with garden and stove.

This is edible part of totora reed.
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Another kind of traditional snack :-)

People of Uros

And finally the most colourful collection of photos from this day. People living at Uros. They are very nice, I don't mean only how they dress, but also their attitude and warmness. At least it seemed so during our short stay.

These photos are from whole day, but I wanted to show them in dedicated section.

Let's start with babies to have some chronology.
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Farewell song from the first island.
Singing Uros women

It seems women of Uros like to handle the oar.
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Even in situations their husband is present...

Wind was working against this woman, because it played with her skirt and caused many laughs from people on our boat. I decided to show more decent photo.


Let's create something nice you might buy.
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Another photo of keen sellers.

Farewell song from the 2nd trip. It might not look like much, but it was very nice. It is just photographer who sucks.

Since we started to plan our trip we looked forward to this place more than to others (restrictions apply). It was just coincidence we visited it on Valentine's Day and I can only say we enjoyed it a lot.

If you plan to be at Lake Titicaca, make sure you visit Uros. It might be little bit commercial for somebody's taste, but it something you cannot see anywhere else.