Taquile Island, Puno, Peru

Our mamas and papas lined up on the shores of Amantaní Island to say goodbye to us with hugs before our boat departed to Taquile Island for the day.

There we learned a bit about the local weaving traditions, including the making and wearing of hats to indicate one’s relationship status. There is a special hat just for the leader of the community as well as hats for men and women to give a signal if they are single, dating, or married.It was also interesting to learn that men, not just women, learn how to weave and knit. But some boys just want to quit school because they can make more money with needles faster than by studying, so it’s a problem for the community to deal with if they want to educate their youth.Peru is also full of the most darling little children, dressed similarly to their mothers.I wasn’t feeling so hot on this island. I wasn’t sure if it was altitude sickness or a stiff neck causing my headache, but after my Coke at lunch, I’m wondering if I was going through some caffeine withdrawal. Still, I slowly made it up the hill with all the others to a wonderful view.We could pay to use bathrooms from locals on this island, and they are not all the same.

Pro tip: Always have toilet paper on hand. The restroom at the bottom of the island offered a public toilet paper to use, which you had to tear off some before going into the stall, but at square at the top of the island, there was no toilet paper to be seen, despite paying to use the toilet. There was also no running water, all the toilets had bucket flushing going on. So, it’s good to always have some spare TP or even tissues on hand.We thought the sign below was funny because Paris was on there, where we had just been on the weekend for Kay’s welcome weekend at INSEAD. And even though Hong Kong wasn’t on there, I thought about my upcoming trip there after Peru and our trip to Rio after that. 🙂After our stop in the square, we hiked a little further up to our lunch destination.Woolly sheep were to be seen along the way. 🙂And below was the view from the lunch table. It was incredible!We were sat literally at the edge of the outlook.Kay was impressed.After lunch we started to slowly make our way down the hill.Before going down, I enjoyed a very nice toilet experience with toilet paper and soap and water. After staying in the homestay and visiting the other islands, this was really luxurious. I was impressed with the soap!We hiked all the way down to the boats below. Or you could just say “walked”, because it was pretty easy going.I was definitely feeling more smiley after my Coke at lunch! 🙂On the boat back to Puno.Back in Puno, we had another evening and full day before our night bus from Puno to Cusco. I wish we had cut Puno a day short and Cusco a day or two shorter, because we really could have fit another trip in, but alas… we did not know.

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