Russ and I had a look at the altitude sickness chart and we scored zero for all categories apart from sleep, where we scored 3 out of 4. The lower the number the better…but the reason we scored so low for sleep was because of all the water we are drinking – I would have been a lot more worried if I had managed a peaceful 8 hours, rather than being up on the hour because nature called. Anyway, I had had enough by 6am so I got up, showered, published yesterday´s blog on here, and then met Russ on his way down to breakfast, so I joined him. Not long after we got there Andy and Heather came in, and Heather looked much better than the evening before. Helena and Sally were not long after them, and again Helena looked so much better, so I think our little group will be just fine. My breakfast was two bowls of sugar puffs with some sort of chocolate grains, some cheese, freshly squeezed orange juice and then papaya juice (and I only know it was that because Heather told me – I thought it tasted of satsuma), then coca tea with some very creamy scrambled egg.
This morning we met at 9 to head off to Lake Titikaka (or Titicaca, depending on which language you fancy – it can even be Titiqaqa) at 3820m. We were being taken in one of those three-wheeled bike things with the seats in the front.
I thought I had lost weight, but my rider seemed well out of breath by the time we caught up with the others at the port. I gave him an extra tip for his trouble. Just time to buy a banana for while we were away from the mainland and it was on to the boat to go to La Isla Cantuta, inhabited by the very friendly Uros Indians.
They live on floating reed islands and we were shown how they build up the various layers to achieve this, as well as being able to eat some of the white part of the end of the reed – eating this keeps their teeth shining white, as well as giving them vital nutrients. It takes one year to build an island and it will then last for 25 years. We had a trip on a reed boat and Andy, Russ and I ´helped´with the rowing…in fact, we ´helped´so much they had to get a motorboat to push us back on course.
The weather was sunny throughout and it was a lovely way to spend a morning. The boat took us back to the port, and I ate my banana and a packet of crisps on the way, before we arrived at the Yavari – an ironclad which was sent in from the UK in 1862, a trip which involved being broken down into individual parts and being transported by mule. They are currently trying to raise funds to have it sail on Lake Titikaka again, and I hope they achieve this.
The group of us were left to our own devices for the afternoon, so we headed off for lunch. I had one of the trout dishes which did not come with a translation on the menu, and totally lucked out – trout, ham, cheese, papaya, pineapple, grape (yes, one), lime, fried banana, avocado, fried egg, rice, chips and toast (and I did not eat the toast) – all washed down with some more coca tea. Then we were off shopping for hairclips (no, not for me), and having failed in that endeavour we settled for ice cream.
As we were walking with Silvia to go to the place she had booked for dinner she mentioned how someone had said they would like pizza, and as a group we all thought she was taking us to where we had had lunch…we ended up next door ! I had another coca tea, working on the basis they seem to be doing the trick so far, and another trout dish, as I have enjoyed the others. This time it was trout in a cherry sauce with zucchini, onions, garlic and red pepper, together with mixed vegetables of carrots, cauliflower, brocolli and green beans. I feel like I have had 20 of my 5-a-day today.
And now it is off to bed at 2130 because tomorrow we are up early for our drive to Cusco – a journey which will take 10 hours, but with stops on the way. Toilet stops, for sure.
You can see more photographs from the day here.